Tuesday, September 13, 2011


There is one part of Rugby Inc. I haven't got bored of yet, and that is the Haka. "Ka Mate" is the most famous, but I'm not sure it is well known outside NZ and the Pacific Islands that there are dozens if not hundreds of haka. I can still remember the moves to my high school haka, even if I haven't actually performed it for close to eighteen years. Part challenge, and part psyche-up when it is done right it sets the atmosphere up perfectly, and the opposition response is always interesting to watch. The best opposition response of all though is another haka, like at the RWC opener last Friday. Our Ka Mate versus Tonga's Sipi Tau:

There was some discussion before the game about if the performances would be separated (probably a slow news day). They did them together at RWC 2003, and it was awesome:

At the risk of being disloyal, having seen Ka Mate a squillion times in my life, I think I prefer Sipi Tau, just because it is much more dynamic in it's movements. I'm also liking the 'official' AB Kapa O Pango haka introduced a few years ago:

Manu Samoa's Siva Tau is pretty cool too:

And better not forget Fiji while I'm at it:

Despite my cynical earlier posts about the RWC, now that the thing has actually started and there are games to watch it is slightly more engaging.


Wildology said...

I had never seen this/heard of this before...how awesome!! Very macho-warrior-manly:)

Off-Black said...

I can see how it might look a bit daft to outsiders, and it can and does get over-used, but it really is an integral part of the culture here :)
It isn't always used as a challenge either. Haka's are often performed in celebration, or to show respect. It isn't uncommon to see them at funerals. One important thing though, it must be done properly. To not do so is disrespectful to the haka itself :)

missrabbitty said...

initially i was not a fan of kapa o pango as i thought it was being traitorous to ka mate. but now i like it. in fact maybe prefer it, albeit in the original throat cutting version.

last week i happened to watch the 100 top sporting moments show with the very short dai henwood in charge (i was babysitting and it was wednesday night...a low tv night). that show chronicled the haka and showed the 80s haka that i remembered. and now i know why we should bring back buck. go the haka. go all the other 'hakas'...thanks samoa and fiji (who i know have a challenge that we call a haka).

though i must say i hate how the PC IRB have said we must be the prerequisite distance apart...get over it.

Off-Black said...

Yeah the whole fixed distance apart thing is a bit pansy. It means no more moments like this for one: