There are a few things that people in different countries associate with New Zealand. The most obvious ones are The Lord of the Rings and, drumroll, The All Blacks Haka. For those of you who are not familiar with this tradition, let me explain in very simple steps what it consists on:
– In New Zealand rugby is the most popular sport.
-New Zealand’s rugby team is called The All Blacks.
-Before every match they perform something that looks like this:
What you just watched is a Maori tradition called the Haka. And because the All Blacks have made this their trademark, the Haka has become well known around the world, but its meaning has also been misconcieved because of this. So here are some of the myths about the Haka that you need to stop believing.
1) It is only performed by men.
This is a common misconception that exists due to the fact that it is mainly the All Blacks (all men) that we see performing this Maori dance, however, there are hakas that can be interpreted by women and even children. And…just in case you were wondering, the female rugby team of New Zealand also performs The Haka.
2) It is a war dance.
Wel this is really a trick question. Because it is a war dance, that was originally used to intimidate enemies and attackers at times of war or tension. But it has evolved into a practice that can take place for entertainment and even to pay a warm welcome to visitors, as a sign of respect. Take this video as an example:
This leads us to the next myth…
3) There is only one Haka.
As there are many reasons why a Haka might be performed, there are also many chants and choreographies that accompany the ritual.
I know you love the Haka, and if you are a sports enthusiast, I know you already want to go to an All Blacks game to watch it live, but until you finally get to do that, I hope this video is enough to calm your nerves: