Make your own free website on Tripod.com

MAIN
KAINGA
BIOgraphy
WHAKAPAPA
PHOTOS
WHAKA AHUA
L inks
Te Tomokanga
The Haka
Te Haka
 
According to Maori ethos, Tama-nui-to-ra, the Sun God, had two wives, Hine-raumati, the Summer maid, and Hine takurua, the Winter maid. The child born to him and Hine-raumati was Tane-rore, who is credited with the origin of the dance. Tane-rore is the trembling of the air as seen on the hot days of summer, and represented by the quivering of the hands in the dance.
 
Before the white man arrived in Aotearoa (New Zealand), the Maori people would use the Haka to request peace before war.  The Haka was performed fiercely to warn opposing tribes.  This would allow hostiles to retreat before committing to war.  On occasions the Haka went on for days at a time with both tribes performing turn for turn.
 
Haka is a display of strength, honour and passion.  It meant that the people of the land would do anything possible to defend themselves win or lose. 
 
Today, haka is defined as that part of the Maori dance repertoire where the men are to the fore with the women lending vocal support in the rear. Most haka seen today are haka taparahi, haka without weapons.
 
More than any aspect of Maori culture, this complex dance is an expression of the passion, vigor and identity of the race. Haka is not merely a past time of the Maori but was also a custom of high social importance in the welcoming and entertainment of visitors. Tribal reputation rose and fell on their ability to perform the haka (Hamana Mahuika).

Haka reflected the concerns and issues of the time, of defiance and protest, of factual occurrences and events at any given time.