Haka - Māori war dances

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Prepare yourself for the energy and awe of the haka.

The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace. Haka are a fierce display of a tribe's pride, strength and unity. Actions include violent foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant. The words of a haka often poetically describe ancestors and events in the tribe's history.

Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion. This includes family events, like birthdays and weddings.

Haka are also used to challenge opponents on the sports field. You may have seen a haka performed by New Zealand’s All Blacks before a rugby match? You’ll probably agree that it’s a terrifying sight to behold!

 

Where to see the haka

Apart from going to watch the All Blacks play rugby, there are plenty of places where you can witness a live haka.

Where to next?

Rugby →

Kapa Haka - Māori Performance →

Marae - Māori meeting grounds →

Pōwhiri - Māori welcome →