The Haka meaning

What is the Haka?

What is Haka? Do not worry; I will explain this term step by step. It all started when my ethnographic research took me to New Zealand. As people are tied to their cultures. Their culture determines their identity, and culture has an importance in the life of people. Without this culture, they would lose their identity. So, New Zealand has its own unique culture and traditions. Haka is a traditional dance that makes them unique and different from the rest of the culture of the people. Haka dance is a particular type of dance. They performed it in a group, and it is a posture dance.

It represents a group’s pride, unity, and strength. A most interesting fact about this dance is that the whole group follows the same steps. No doubt, people’s emotions are firmly attached to this dance. Whenever they gathered, they performed this dance in their ceremonies. In the past, people in New Zealand performed this dance to increase their enthusiasm among their soldiers. Now it has become part of their culture and tradition. It is part of the Maori culture. It has become part of their life. They performed this dance, and they move every aspect of their body. And stamp their feet on the floor and produce a strong sound. They used their hands, feet, arms, and tongue. also depict their strong feelings and emotions through their steps. They gave a silent message, and they gave a powerful message without uttering any word.

Historical background of Haka (Love behind the Haka Dance)

The Maori people are indigenous people of New Zealand. The people of New Zealand have a unique identity. Their language, dance, and traditions are highly connected with their ancestors.

Various myths and folklore is associated with this culture. This culture has little impact on the British people. In the 1800s British population grew in this region.

Only men were supposed to perform this dance in ancient times, but now, females could also serve this traditional dance in modern times. This dance depicts their unity against their enemies. Through this dance, they gave the message of heart, love, affection, and power and spread their message in the world. It also generates encouragement in them. I asked the local person; he told me that keeping our youth intact with their heritage is essential. We performed this dance to say that they should not forget their ancestors and their values. It gave them an identity and protected Maori culture.

Love behind the Haka Dance

It is a beautiful way to depict one’s love and affection for others. Love is a strong emotion, and it has strong power. So, if I say that there is a strong power of love behind the Haka dance, then it would not be wrong. Strong love was behind the origin of this dance. According to the legends, Tama-Nui-te-ra, the sun god, and his wife Hine-Raumati were responsible for the summer season. During extreme summer days, their son Tane-more dances with zeal to give a cool breeze and attenuate the cool breeze for his mother. His love for his mother is the firm foundation for this dance.

You may get amazed when you came to know that this dance has different unique forms. This dance has various types. They performed special and other forms of this dance on different occasions. I attended a wedding, and in the wedding ceremony, a group’s newlywed couple’s friends performed Haka. They danced to give their best wishes to the couple for their new life. I could see the tears in the bride’s eyes. It was a clear indication that she could observe true love and their affections in their body gestures. Most people believed that true love needs confession, but I think true love does not require confession. However, instead, it depicts through your action.

Types of Hakka Dance

Haka performed during wartime when two opposite parties encounter each other. However, later with time, the trend changed. Now it is performed for a different celebration like birthdays, weddings and other important events. Haka dance has various dance types.

Tutungaruhu and Taparahi

The type of Tutungaruhu dance is performed with armed weapons, and Haka Taparahi is performed without weapons.

Poi Dance

Women perform this dance. They revolve the ball in multidimensional ways. The beautiful thing about this dance is that they performed it in a group and revolve around the ball perfectly. They all follow the same steps. In a beautiful rhythm.

Kapa Haka

Kapa haka dance is a particular type of dance, and it is performed during special occasions, especially in schools. It depicts the traditional face of newsreaders.


This dance aims not to show any angry emotion but to show intense feelings. Facial emotions are essential in this dance. It is based on facial expressions.

Rugby Haka (Ka Mata)

This form of dance is performed before the match. The sports team performed this dance before the match to show their power, enthusiasm, and struggle. They used this Ka Mata haka that was first time performed by their chief. They usually performed this before their sports and competitions.


This dance is based on fun and depends on the situation. It performed in a unique hand moment. Natives move their hands in particular moments, and these types of moments are known as Wiri. These moments symbolize the phenomenon of nature like you can perceive these hand moments like a wind moment as I have already told you the origin of this dance. No doubt a strong emotion of love is behind the dance—a love for the mother. When Tane-more produces these wind waves with his hands to give solace to his mother, this moment suddenly reminds me of the unconditional love for her mother. Strong emotions and feelings have power. Through these feelings, yes, we could change the tides and change the dimensions of air.



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