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The Haka is a type of traditional group dance originating with the Maori people of New Zealand.
See the fact file below for more information on the Haka or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Haka worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Haka originated in Maori legend.
- The sun god Tama-nui-te-ra and one of his wives, Hine-raumati, who embodies the essence of summer, had a son named Tane-rore.
- The quivering and rapid appearance of his hands was the sign of Tane-rore dancing for his mother – which was the foundation of all haka dances.
- The most famous haka is “Ka Mate,” composed in about 1820 by the Maori chief Te Rauparaha of the Ngāti Toa Rangatira tribe.
- The original All Black haka was composed to celebrate the chief’s lucky escape from a tribal war.
- Maori posture dance involves the entire body in rhythmic movements, including swaying, slapping of the chest and thighs, stamping, and gestures of stylized violence.
- It is accompanied by a chant and by fierce facial expressions meant to intimidate, such as bulging eyes and the sticking out of the tongue.
- Most traditional Hakas are performed only by men where some include women in singing roles only.
- Traditionally, the haka was performed as part of the rituals of encounter when two parties met or when a visitor was welcomed into the community.
- Modern examples of occasions for hakas include birthdays, weddings, funerals, and other celebratory events. It is also sometimes used as a symbol of tribal identity.
- Haka are also used to challenge opponents on the sports field. Have you seen a haka performed by New Zealand’s All Blacks before a rugby match?
- Since 1972, the performance of haka has been one of the widely popular Te Matatini performing arts festival.
- Whakatu Waewae
- This Haka involves the warriors standing upright and stamping their feet. No weapons were utilized in this dance.
- This Haka was particularly performed by the Tuhoe people who lived on the eastern end of the North Island of New Zealand, a forested area where Lake Waikaremoana is located.
- Tutu Ngarahu
- This Haka involved side to side jumping and was a precursor to battle. The performance involved the war party holding weapons.
- This Haka was a true war dance traditionally performed while facing the enemy. Its purpose was to intimidate and demoralize the enemy.
- The war party held weapons during the performance. This dance features unified leaps.
- Manawa wera
- Mainly associated with death and funerals this Haka involved no weapons.
- The dancers had freedom of expression in the moves which were not choreographed.
- The purpose of this Haka was to motivate warriors; to “summon up the blood”. This dance was very expressive with no defined moves.
- The warriors would express their emotions and feelings through their performance.
- Ka Mate
- New Zealand’s international rugby team, the All Blacks, have made this Haka famous by performing it at their games. This Haka was created by a Maori chief and war leader named Te Rauparaha.
- It is a ceremonial Haka that he created to celebrate his escape from enemy warriors who were chasing him.
- The Haka starts with a chant beginning with “Will I die, Will I die, Will I live, Will I live”.
THE MAORI PEOPLE
- The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They traveled to New Zealand from eastern Polynesia around the year 1280 AD.
- According to Maori legend, several large ocean going canoes (waka) arrived from the mythical home Hawaiki.
- The actual early settlement most likely occurred in waves over time.
- Due to centuries of isolation from the rest of the world, the Maori established a society with distinctive art, a separate language, and unique mythology.
- The Maori people are also known for their unique tattoos.
- The tattoos can have a range of other legitimate meanings, such as family (physical lives), prosperity, travel, strength, career path, etc.
- In modern times, various hakas have been composed to be performed by women and even children.
- Hakas are performed for various reasons: for welcoming distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions, or funerals.
- In the 21st century, kapa haka is offered as a subject in universities, including the study of the haka, and is practised in schools and military institutions.
- The All Blacks’ use of the haka has become the most widely known, but several other New Zealand sports teams now perform the haka before a game.
- In the lead up to the Rugby World Cup in 2011, flash mob hakas became a popular way of expressing support for the All Blacks.
- In November 2012, a Māori kapa haka group from Rotorua performed a version of the “Gangnam Style” dance mixed with a traditional haka in Seoul.
- It was made to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between South Korea and New Zealand.
- Non-New Zealand sports teams with Polynesian players also adopted the Haka.
- Coventry Jets and London Olympians, and British American Football teams have performed the haka before their games.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Haka across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Haka worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Haka which is a type of traditional group dance originating with the Maori people of New Zealand.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Origin
- The Maori
- Ka Mate
- Ta Moko
- Cultural Respect
- Local Tribe
- Indigenous Peoples
- Quick Review
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Link will appear as Haka Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 21, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.