Contrary to the misconception that haka should only be performed by males, there are some that can be practiced by women.
Our culture is often an integral part of who we are as a person. People from different regions have been following their respective traditions and cultures for decades. If we have to list some of the best examples of it, the New Zealand rugby team would easily crop up. Before every match, their national team performs haka, a ceremonial Māori war dance. It is usually performed in a group, displaying a tribe's unity, pride and strength. The powerful haka performed by the men's and women's teams will not only touch your very soul but will also give you goosebumps. Need proof? Here, you can see the Black Ferns Sevens, New Zealand women's national rugby union team, perform haka as a tribute to the legendary Tim Mikkelson over his historic 100th international tournament.
The haka often involves a loud chant, stomping of the foot, sticking out of the tongue, and repetitive body slapping, according to newzealand.com. The dance frequently uses poetry to describe historical figures and occasions in the tribe's past. It was traditionally performed whenever two parties came together for a certain meeting. For instance, the haka was enacted when groups joined together in peace, in addition to being used on the battlefield to prepare warriors for the fight mentally and physically. People still perform haka in ceremonies and celebrations to recognize guests and highlight the event's significance. These occasions include weddings, birthdays, graduations and funerals for family members.
The Black Ferns is well known for its energetic haka performances. "Ko Uhia Mai," which means "Let it be known," was written by Whetu Tipiwai and is the name of the haka they perform before an international game. The All Blacks and Black Ferns fondly uphold their cultural heritage and traditions by participating in regular haka waiata performances. There is a misconception that haka should only be performed by men. While some haka have been curated specifically for the male community, others can be practiced by anybody, including women.
Recently, an Instagram page dedicated to rugby videos titled rugbypass posted a clip showing the Black Ferns' captivating haka performance. The translation is as powerful as the vibe of this art. According to All Blacks Experience, the translation goes like this: "Let it be known. Who are these women? It's the Black Ferns rumble. From Hineahuone, Hinetitama and Hinenui te po we came. To transfer from the heavens to the world of enlightenment. Life force from above. Life force from below (earth). The gathering clouds. The mountains that pierce the sky. Let us proceed. To the seas. From the corners of the island. To the neighboring islands. And around the world. You stand tall and proud. Women of strength. Who will bear the future? The Black Ferns of New Zealand. Rise and press on. When the challenge arrives. We will gather and unite together. Strength together. It will be done."
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It means that women of The Black Ferns of New Zealand are resilient, strong, and determined. It says that these women have the power to defy the sky and earth alike and that they stand tall and are proud. Finally, it says they are gathered here today to face the challenge (sport) at hand and win.
Black Ferns Haka pic.twitter.com/JcC601yHYc— stable genius sandy may 🇺🇦 (@sandzz77) November 12, 2022
The All Blacks, New Zealand national rugby union team, also perform haka before every match as a dazzling display of their strength and physical skill. The reason for performing the haka on fields is to challenge competitors. The phrases of the All Blacks' famous haka, "Ka Mate," have become prominent all over the world when it was adopted as part of their pre-game routine. It was written in the 1820s by the tribe's rangatira (chief) Te Rauparaha. Surely, after knowing the history and significance of haka, one can easily understand why All Blacks and Black Ferns have made it a part of their pre-match routines.