Friday, March 13, 2009
All Blacks 'Ka mate, Ka mate' Haka
This should get any Rugby lovers blood pumping:
The centrality of the haka within All Black rugby tradition is not a recent development. Since the original "All Black" team of "New Zealand Natives" led by Joseph Warbrick the haka has been closely associated with New Zealand rugby. Its mystique has evolved along with the fierce determination, commitment and high level skill which has been the hallmark of New Zealand's National game.
The haka adds a unique component, derived from the indigenous Maori of New Zealand, and which aligns with the wider Polynesian cultures of the Pacific.
The All Blacks perform the haka with precision and intensity which underpin the All Black approach. The first New Zealand rugby team to tour overseas, playing eight matches in New South Wales, Australia, in 1884, performed "a Maori war cry" or haka before each of its matches. The Ka Mate haka was not well known at this time. In 1900, a newspaper reported New Zealand soldiers in the Boer War chanting "Ka Mate! Ka Mate! Koru! Koru! Hae-haea! Ha!" The soldiers thought it meant "Kill him! Chop him up! Baste him!"
But during the 1901 Royal Tour, Ngati Kahungunu warriors revived Ka Mate when they performed it to welcome the Duke of Cornwall at Rotorua. Newspapers described the full actions of this "ancient ngeri," printing its complete Maori words and an accurate translation. A movie cameraman recorded the performance. Ka Mate became famous, and was widely performed throughout New Zealand.
The "Ka Mate" haka generally opens with a set of five preparatory instructions shouted by the leader, before the whole team joins in:
Ringa pakia! Slap the hands against the thighs!
Uma tiraha! Puff out the chest!
Turi whatia! Bend the knees!
Hope whai ake! Let the hip follow!
Waewae takahia kia kino! Stamp the feet as hard as you can!
Ka mate, ka mate 'I die, I die,
Team: Ka ora' Ka ora' 'I live, 'I live,
Leader: Ka mate, ka mate 'I die, 'I die
Team: Ka ora Ka ora " 'I live, 'I live,
Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru This is the hairy man
Nāna i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā ...Who caused the sun to shine again for me
Upane... Upane Up the ladder, Up the ladder
Upane Kaupane" Up to the top
Whiti te rā,! The sun shines!
Here is another nice performnace of it in Paris: