What is the haka?
The haka is a Maori war cry. It is fierce and involves much chanting, stamping of hands and feet and some pretty scary looking faces doing the pukana (that wild eye thing they do!)
But while most people equate the haka with the start of a New Zealand rugby All Blacks match to try and scare the opposition, the haka is also done on occasions to honour great people. One of the most moving things you’ll see is a haka done at a funeral or when someone has achieved something great. See this clip of Palmerston North Boys High School doing a haka in front of the hearse carrying a favourite teacher who passed away suddenly.
The All Blacks have two hakas: The iconic Ka mate haka was written by Te Rauparaha as a war cry in 1820 (click here for my blog on that translation) and which every kiwi on their OE has ripped their top off to perform in many a London pub.
But in 2005 a new haka was written (which I’ve not yet seen performed in a pub). Kapa o pango was first performed by the All Blacks against South Africa in 2005 at Carisbrook, Dunedin. The All Blacks won 31 – 27.
Written by Ngati Porou’s Derek Llardelli, this haka is performed before special test matches. Here it is with the English translation and check out the video below:
Kapa o pango kia whakawhenua au i ahau!
Let me become one with the land
Hi aue, hi!
Ko Aotearoa e ngunguru nei!
This is our land that rumbles
Au, au, aue ha!
And it’s my time! It’s my moment!
Ko Kapa o Pango e ngunguru nei!
This defines us as the All Blacks
Au, au, aue ha!
It’s my time! It’s my moment!
Ka tu te ihiihi
Ka tu te wanawana
Our supremacy will triumph
Ki runga ki te rangi e tu iho nei,
tu iho nei, hi!
And will be placed on high
Kapa o Pango, aue hi!
Kapa o Pango, aue hi, ha!
And if you’re a truly mad keen All Blacks fan, jump here for my post on where to download a FREE haka ringtone >>>