Sweekriti Khatiwara
Ka Mate Ka Mate English Translation
Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!
Ka mate! ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!
Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru
Nāna nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā
Ā, upane! ka upane!
Ā, upane, ka upane, whiti te ra!
‘Tis death! ’tis death! (or: I may die) ’Tis life! ‘tis life! (or: I may live)
’Tis death! ‘tis death! ’Tis life! ‘tis life!
This is the hairy man
Who brought the sun and caused it to shine
A step upward, another step upward!
A step upward, another… the Sun shines!

Haka is the term given to a Maori war dance, war cry or tribal challenge. It comprises of enthusiastic musical developments that include different parts of the body: hands, feet, eyes, legs, voice and tongue all have an impact in making a trained and inwardly charged message. The dance’s roots can be traced back to early Maori legend. Tama-nui-te-ra, the Sun God and his better half Hine-raumati, who is the embodiment of summer, had a child (son) named Tane-rore. Maori believe that the shuddering air on a sweltering summer day is expedited by Tane-rore’s dance for his mother – a light, fast movement which is the foundation of all haka. Basically, the hand-trembling you’d normally observe in haka performances are a portrayal of Tane-rore’s summer dance.

It was performed on the front lines for two reasons. Right off the bat, it was done to unnerve their adversaries; the warriors would utilize forceful outward appearances, for example, swelling eyes and jabbing of their tongues. They would snort and cry in a scary way, while beating and waving their weapons. The second reason they did this was for their own morale; they trusted that they were calling upon the divine force of war to enable them to win the fight. They were vigorously arranged and performed in time. It gave them boldness and quality. This kind of haka is known as a peruperu haka.

Inter College Scholastic Competition organised by WSOS

Over the time, the Haka developed and it came to be utilized for something beyond fights. It turned into a route for groups to meet up and it was an image for group and quality. This sort of haka is known as a ngeri haka. Dissimilar to the peruperu, the ngeri does not utilize weapons. Their motivation is extraordinary; they are performed to just move the performers and watchers psychologically, as opposed to cause fear. This diverse objective is reflected in how they are performed. Their developments are all the more free, giving every member the opportunity to communicate in their own developments. Both males and females can perform a haka; there are unique ones that have been made only for ladies.


the-all-blacks-haka-its-complicated-1446735477Haka is additionally used to challenge rivals on the games fields too. One of the best way to understand the significance of Haka will be by watching the All Blacks (New Zealand’s rugby team) perform it in front of the world before the matches played by them. Even if one does not comprehend it, yet the goosebumps and the emotions that run throughout the body will say otherwise.

(Sweekriti from Bering in East Sikkim is a Masters in Peace & Conflict Studies from Sikkim University and aims to work for the UN and change the world one step at a time.)




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