Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Here's a good one for you.

Haka is a type of traditional Maori dance. It involves a lot of chanting, quick movements and changes in position and posture. They are performed for a lot of reasons: ceremonial, communication, amusement, war. The most famous haka is the one that the All Blacks, New Zealand's national rugby team, perform at the beginning of all of their matches. This tradition started in 1884 when the first NZ rugby team toured New South Wales, Australia. The NZ teams have been using the same haka since 1906. It's called Ka Mate (which means I die, in English. It tells the story of


Ringa pakia!
Uma tiraha!
Turi whatia!
Hope whai ake!
Waewae takahia kia kino!

Leader: Ka mate, ka mate
Team: Ka ora' Ka ora'
Leader: Ka mate, ka mate
Team: Ka ora Ka ora "
All: Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru
Nāna i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā
Upane... Upane
Upane Kaupane"
Whiti te rā,!

Loose English Translation:

Slap the hands against the thighs!
Puff out the chest.
Bend the knees!
Let the hip follow!
Stamp the feet as hard as you can!

'I die, I die,
'I live, 'I live,
'I die, 'I die
'I live, 'I live,
This is the hairy man
Who caused the sun to shine again for me
Up the ladder, Up the ladder
Up to the top
The sun shines!

The boys in New Zealand all learn different hakas at school. Martin, the oldest one here at the farm I've been staying at, has been practicing his haka a lot. His little brother, Chance, has caught right on and has been practicing alongside. This afternoon Chance was sleepy and didn't really want to do the haka for me, but we worked some things out and I let him take about 100 pictures of me and the cat so that he would let me make a clip of the haka.

It was a rainy afternoon, so we had to stay on the small back porch. Martin drew the bear on the chalkboard as a background element for the movie. He would also like to say 'hi' to my Mom whom he chatted with on the phone the other day.

Once we cheered up Chance (he's three and was sleepy because we had went over to a neighbour's house for dinner the night before and he was up late), he pulled it together and did a really good job.

A couple outtakes.

Chance forgets the words, my camera runs out of space.

Martin decides that professionalism involves holding your breath and convincing your little brother to follow along.


  1. love it! Those two look like quite the little characters!

  2. Wait until you see the rest of it! I had such a good time at this place, just a real good time. I love watching these videos so much!