The Maori Haka dance

"Although the use of a haka by the All Blacks Rugby team has made one type of haka familiar, it has led to misconceptions. Haka are not exclusively war dances, nor are they only performed by men. Some are performed by women, others by mixed groups, and some simple haka are performed by children. Haka are performed for various reasons: for amusement, as a hearty welcome to distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements or occasions. War haka, which had their own term, 'peruperu', were originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition. Today, haka constitute an integral part of formal or official welcome ceremonies for distinguished visitors or foreign dignitaries, serving to impart a sense of the importance of the occasion.
Various actions are employed in the course of a performance, including facial contortions such as showing the whites of the eyes and the poking out of the tongue, and a wide variety of vigorous body actions such as slapping the hands against the body and stamping of the feet. As well as chanted words, a variety of cries and grunts are used. Haka may be understood as a kind of symphony in which the different parts of the body represent many instruments. The hands, arms, legs, feet, voice, eyes, tongue and the body as a whole combine to express courage, annoyance, joy or other feelings relevant to the purpose of the occasion."
Here is a video of the All Blacks Haka dance (from U-Tube)


As part of the conference, Mary and Rebeca and other attendees had a private showing of an Auckland group of Maori performing Haka and other dances. During the second week, Mary, Gordon and Rebeca visited the Maori Cultural Center of Te Puia and its arts and crafts and hot springs, in Rotorua. The center is dedicated to reviving the native Maori customs and arts: besides a tour of the geyser and hot springs, there are a weaving center, a carving center, and a reconstructed Maori village where the Haka dances are demonstrated - we joined several Japanese and other tourists for the show - glimpses of which can be seen in the pictures below:
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The welcome dance The welcome dance-2 Demonstrating the bola dance First bola attempts Bola better Bola even better Bola perfect Our hostess Two lovers meet (song) Two lovers together
Stick exchange Stick exchange-2 Haka war song-1
(Lewis & Kim)
Haka war song-2 Haka war song-3 Haka begin Haka learning Haka spirit Haka overboard The beach guards
So quick to become experts!!...