Tu Kaha O Pango Te Kahikatia!
September 2, 2014 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Whose tradition counts on the basketball courts? The Tall Blacks, New Zealand's basketball team did their new Haka before games with their Turkish opponents turning their backs and the American players looking just confused. Marc Hinton dares to suggest that the Haka, a New Zealand sports tradition for over a century, might not work internationally. The Haka is a Maori chant and dance given before battle to intimidate and challenge your opponents or as a way to mark important occasions. (Also, it's just plain awesome.)
posted by viggorlijah (77 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome indeed.
posted by carping demon at 8:56 PM on September 2, 2014


The Haka works fine when it's conducted at international cricket, rugby, and soccer tourneys. Maybe basketball is the problem.
posted by gingerest at 8:59 PM on September 2, 2014 [17 favorites]


Unfortunately for the Tall Blacks, the haka did little to halt the Americans’ power on the court, as the US outmuscled its overmatched opponent 98-71.

It's one thing to perform (or inflict) the Haka if you're the All Blacks and you have a fearsome reputation on the field, but it seems slightly ridiculous to perform the Haka if you are bound to lose on the basketball court.
posted by Nevin at 9:00 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think it's awesome to perform the haka if you're a New Zealand national team whether you're particularly good at the sport or not.

Also, seeing the All Blacks perform the haka was incredibly moving!
posted by MoonOrb at 9:02 PM on September 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


but it seems slightly ridiculous to perform the Haka if you are bound to lose on the basketball court.


I disagree. If you're going to go out, and it makes sense for you culturally of course, go out with style.

Mighty Ducks. Flying V. All that jazz.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:04 PM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Actually I'd like to see professional boxers do a haka before a match instead of parading out to some industrial/metal/whatever tune. That could be a lot of fun.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:13 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


The haka is genuinely one of my favorite things in the world. It gives me shivers every single time I see one.

It also forces me to really consider what other incredible traditions we've starved or suffocated or just plain murdered when it comes to native folks in the United States. (Not that New Zealand is or has previously been perfect in their treatment of Maori issues, but they seem at least willing to celebrate and listen to their indigenous culture in a way America certainly is not.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:15 PM on September 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


I think one of the reasons the Haka is so intense and moving is that it has that heritage, but that there are some players (not all, gangly awkward guy in the back) where this is important to them. That this show of culture, of lineage, of respect for their opponents and the land and so on, has a depth to it that the national anthem in all its mumbled atonality, lacks.
posted by geek anachronism at 9:21 PM on September 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


Some of the American reactions were hilarious, but I'm glad the team lined up and watched. It's an awesome tradition, and I really hope FIBA respects it.
posted by graphnerd at 9:24 PM on September 2, 2014






The haka is amazing. Count me as another for whom it's among my favorite things - to see, to know it exists, to know that people perform it. Love it.
posted by rtha at 9:29 PM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ugh. It's international basketball that should change, not NZ sports traditions. The last thing this world needs is further homogenization and loss of local traditions and customs. What a bland commercialized world we'll be heading into, otherwise.
posted by barnacles at 9:33 PM on September 2, 2014 [13 favorites]


I think the Haka is kinda silly, honestly, especially when it's gangly uncoordinated basketball players rather than beefy, synchronized rugby players.

I don't find it particularly intimidating and if I were an opposing player, I'd probably ignore it myself in favour of whatever pregame ritual I have of my own.

On the other hand, if it makes the team feel united, it's not really much different than another team playing an intro song or doing fancy dunk warm-ups or whatever.

I can't think of any reason for them to stop doing it.
The best sports traditions we have come out of "spontaneous" moments like that.
posted by madajb at 9:34 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't think the Americans in that clip looked confused by what was going on. They just didn't have a cultural script for how to react appropriately.

(For what it's worth: this video shows the appropriate response.)
posted by lollusc at 9:41 PM on September 2, 2014 [43 favorites]


Oh man lollusc thank you for that, that was amazing.
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:49 PM on September 2, 2014


This is what it looks like when there's no referees keeping the two teams apart.

Or there's this Australian response. (You see the actual face-off from around 1:24 onwards).

Or if you don't come from a culture with your own war dances, there's always the Welsh approach. Or the French one (actual haka starts about 40 seconds in).
posted by lollusc at 9:51 PM on September 2, 2014 [9 favorites]


I am with lollusc. I didn't think the US team reaction was one of confusion. I thought it was more of amazement. Also, at the end, the Americans gave them an ovation. They all clapped.
posted by 724A at 9:52 PM on September 2, 2014


"The Haka works fine when it's conducted at international cricket, rugby, and soccer tourneys. Maybe basketball is the problem."

Right, they shouldn't be playing basketball. That's cultural appropriation. From Canada.
posted by vapidave at 10:05 PM on September 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


I saw the NZ Haka during the HK Sevens. Absolutely, fantastically, spine tingling. Then Jona Lomu stomped on everyone.

One of my life's highlights while living in Hong Kong.
posted by helmutdog at 10:14 PM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


This haka does it for me. Different context altogether . . . .
posted by nostrada at 10:23 PM on September 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


One of the other cool things about the haka is how it's a native cultural tradition that had been shared with non-native New Zealanders and widely accepted and celebrated. It's good for all New Zealanders to have a way to participate in and feel connected to traditional Maori culture and helps make that culture more relevant and accepted as important by all parties in Kiwi cultural discourse. It's nice to see something like this that ISN'T appropriation but is cultural sharing and celebration.

And the appropriate response to a haka, have you no war dance, is to stand and face it like a fucking warrior despite it be a fairly terrifying for a sporting event preliminary ritual.

(It is possible my Maori roommate used to dance a haka or three when drunk. It is possible we used to encourage this.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:23 PM on September 2, 2014 [32 favorites]


Also this is pretty much literally the justification for the existence of international sports, that some kid from Englewood (I.e. Derrick Rose) will have a chance to meet some guys from New Zealand, enjoy their cultural traditions, and do sport against them. If the haka doesn't belong in international sports, I believe we are sportsing incorrectly.

Although Rose might have a slightly better chance than the average American of knowing about Maori culture as the Field Museum in Chicago where he doubtless went on yearly field trips has the only marae outside New Zealand. But you get my point.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:36 PM on September 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


The Haka works fine when it's conducted at international cricket, rugby, and soccer tourneys. Maybe basketball is the problem.

Except the Haka isn't performed at all in Cricket or Soccer tournaments.
posted by KeithMurdoch at 11:22 PM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Did they talk to the Turks beforehand?
posted by Segundus at 11:23 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, I can't think of anything more utterly surreal than the idea of the Haka being performed by the New Zealand test cricket team in their v-necked cricket jumpers and white pants. Cloudy morning here at Lords, crowd slowly drifting in. We've had the pitch inspection, now there's the toss, England will bat first, the opposing captains shake hands, and now there's the Haka, led by New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori. What a terrifying spectacle!
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:10 AM on September 3, 2014 [17 favorites]


So this has always been my favorite haka (starts about 45 seconds in.) Texas high school football (which is taken VERY seriously.)

I can't find the link now, but over the past decade, some small Texas towns have done cultural exchanges with New Zealand towns. The student taught the football teams the haka. The result is kind of amazing for a couple of reasons: A) it's really cool to see these small, conservative towns grow culturally, and B) if I was on the opposing team, I'd have probably given up right then. Just forget it, we forfeit.
posted by nushustu at 1:55 AM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Never seen it at the cricket, because that's a white man's game ? Educate me NZ mefites.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 2:32 AM on September 3, 2014


Try a haka at a funeral . Incredibly moving.
posted by greenhornet at 2:42 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]




My fiancee and I are Aussie through and through, but everyone in the house has to shut up and the TV is turned up while the Haka is performed during any All Blacks vs Wallabies matches. I consistently get shivers down my spine, and have been known to get teary with all the emotion. (I am easily stirred by this kind of stuff).

Aussies trotting out John Williamson for a few verses of "True Blue" really just doesn't cut it in comparison!

For anyone who doesn't know, there are two variations that the All Blacks perform. The current version was debuted in 2005, and is the Kapa o Pango version, which incorporates imagery specific to the world of rugby. It's famous for the controversial throat-slitting move at the end. The more commonly performed one for most sporting teams is the Ka Mate Haka - the one also performed by the young teenage boy in the Kiwi film Once Were Warriors.

As a side note: a highlight of my teaching career was seeing my year 11 Kiwi students perform a "flashmob" version of the Haka during our semi-formal fashion parade. Talk about powerful.
posted by chronic sublime at 3:16 AM on September 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Never seen it at the cricket, because that's a white man's game ?

I hear the West Indies play a bit.
posted by Segundus at 5:09 AM on September 3, 2014 [10 favorites]


I always get the shivers watching the All Blacks do their haka. If I were on the opposing side it would definitely put me off my game.
posted by tommasz at 5:22 AM on September 3, 2014


I hear the West Indies play a bit.

East Indies, too.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:03 AM on September 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


My stepdad's a Kiwi, with some Maori ancestry. I never actually learned how to do a haka, but I got to see him and a whole load of expat Kiwis do one together once. Chills down my spine doesn't even come close.

I think my favourite one I ever saw, though, is on the last bit of the LOTR extras; the entire stunt crew did a haka for Viggo Mortensen and Bernard Hill.

Can't even imagine how intimidating it would be to be on the other sportsball team when suddenly the other team does this incredibly aggressive energy-raising ritual. I'm with everyone else here who says I'd just forfeit and go home.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:11 AM on September 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


The first time I saw a haka, I thought it was cultural appropriation to the max - kind of like white americans playing Indian. Then I learned that there's quite a bit more to it than that.

The haka is pretty terrifying when a rugby team filled with guys who look like warriors does it. The basketball team? Well, maybe it's the shaky video, but it underwhelms.
posted by entropone at 7:13 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can't even imagine how intimidating it would be to be on the other sportsball team when suddenly the other team does this incredibly aggressive energy-raising ritual.

See also: the opening ceremony of the 2001 Superbowl. The St. Louis Rams took a good ten minutes to highlight their best, star players, one by one having them trot out and pose in front of the crowd like gods made flesh - and then the Patriots completely upend that script, announcing themselves as a team, and taking the field in a jumbled rush, the pine-riders and superstars bounding and bouncing out all together, laughing, dancing, cheering, and it just ratcheted the energy level to eleventy billion in the process.

You could see the "oshit" ripple through the St Louis team, it was amazing.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:27 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess the haka is more terrifying depending on the reputation of who is doing it. I did like the French 'Line of Haka-Defiance' approach above.

Not a haka, but more sports-inflected war dancing: Trobriand cricket, PNG, from the 1st series of Last Man Standing. Explanation starts from about 18.50, "Oops, I think there's been a catch. It's time for me to dance with this hand."
posted by glasseyes at 7:31 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Re: the American response link: "This video contains content from Telecinco, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. Sorry about that."
posted by andreaazure at 7:39 AM on September 3, 2014


You’d think roller skates would make a haka less intimidating, but nope.
posted by nicepersonality at 7:41 AM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]



That's WAY better than the stupid prayer our coach used to make us do.

What does God need with a Thursday night win in Squirt C DAHA hockey, anyway ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:42 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, I can't think of anything more utterly surreal than the idea of the Haka being performed by the New Zealand test cricket team in their v-necked cricket jumpers and white pants.

It would make cricket SUPER AWESOME, come on.
posted by elizardbits at 7:43 AM on September 3, 2014 [8 favorites]


Or rather war-inflected sports-dancing.

Re: the American response link: etc
This is the official link I guess.
posted by glasseyes at 7:52 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


It would make cricket SUPER AWESOME, come on.

You want super awesome cricket, glasseyes' link will kill you.

Baseball fans will also enjoy this.
posted by Wolof at 8:00 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I saw the All Blacks vs. Wallabies in HK one year, the Haka is truly impressive in the flesh. The only appropriate response is the Welsh one, stand up and face them down.
posted by arcticseal at 8:27 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think the Americans in that clip looked confused by what was going on.

Yeah, they were more like "Are you guys allright? Maybe need some help? Or medication?"

Actually, the one sport where this haka thing would be totally awesome before a match is chess.
posted by sour cream at 8:38 AM on September 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Honestly, I think the most effective response would be to ignore, right? You are only scary if people think you are scary. And dudes yelling and puffing their cheeks ... really not all that scary, if the videos are to be believed.
posted by dame at 8:53 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Though I suppose it *could* be taken as unsporting, which would be a shame, but also, should you be forced to stand and take people yelling at you, which is just unpleasant. It's an interesting question, I think.
posted by dame at 8:55 AM on September 3, 2014


"Honestly, I think the most effective response would be to ignore, right? You are only scary if people think you are scary. And dudes yelling and puffing their cheeks ... really not all that scary, if the videos are to be believed."

1) It's surprisingly scary in person, even when the person is your somewhat-drunk five-foot-tall female roommate.

2) It's considered bad luck to ignore or (worse!) turn your back on a haka; I think Australia lost a couple of significant matches to the All Blacks after doing so in rugby? Anyway, it's bad luck not to face it down.

3) It'd also be fairly disrespectful to ignore it, like when a team fails to be respectfully silent for the other team's national anthem or something.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:59 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


The crossed arms watching line works best as reaction, for me. It acknowledges it, so it's not disrespectful, but as long as you keep your expression stern you are showing you aren't intimidated.
posted by tavella at 9:36 AM on September 3, 2014


should you be forced to stand and take people yelling at you

Or, conversely, should you openly disrespect another nation's cultural heritage?
posted by elizardbits at 9:36 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


The haka is the only part of any team sport I've ever understood or enjoyed. It's not like it takes a significant time away from other activities.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:37 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Never seen it at the cricket, because that's a white man's game ?

I hear the West Indies play a bit.


In New Zealand, though, at the highest level: sure. I can think of only 4 players of Maori ancestry who have represented New Zealand in test cricket in the 85 years since New Zealand got test status: Adam Parore, Heath Te-Ihi-O-Te-Rangi Davis, Daryl Tuffey, and Jesse Ryder. 4. Out of 265 cricketers who have played tests for NZ. And of those players, all except Parore (who didn't really identify as Maori) have had difficult careers, marked by class and economic stresses that impacted their ability to stay in the game. How do we put this? Not automatic selections, yeah. A very different story to rugby in New Zealand.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:45 AM on September 3, 2014


The Haka works fine when it's conducted at international cricket, rugby, and soccer tourneys.

And at roller derby tournaments.
posted by Lucinda at 9:52 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think Sébastien Chabal's response is appropriately intimidating.

Of course, he could ask me if I wanted to come over and meet his new kittens, and I'd still be terrified.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:53 AM on September 3, 2014


Or, conversely, should you openly disrespect another nation's cultural heritage?

Well and thus I think it is a hard question, right? I come from a sporting tradition where making a big thing of yourself is the opposite of scary. If you are huffing and puffing rather than silently destroying your competitors then shaking their hands and cheering a little, you are doing it wrong. And in that tradition, turning your back and walking away would be entirely appropriate.

By default ceding the most effective response in terms of a contest, because to do otherwise is culturally insensitive, means that the Kiwis deserve an advantage, the advantage of shaping the contest merely by showing up. Is that sportsmanlike? Is one approach more sportsmanlike than another?

Plus, then you have the fact that it is sports not buddytime. You are not in a game to be culturally sensitive; you are there to win — and then go have a beer and be friends afterward.

So, what do you do when cultures clash? It's sports, so it doesn't really matter all that much in the sense of hard problems ... it is an abstraction that makes it easier to look at questions like that: Why must I respect your warlike approach in a sporting event where the goal *is* to vanquish you?

(And to be clear, though I don't know I should have to be, I have no problem with the idea of being culturally respectful in general. This just seems to clash with what I would consider sporting.)
posted by dame at 10:18 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


724A: "Also, at the end, the Americans gave them an ovation. They all clapped."

Which is, of course, what the "cultural script" says to do at the end of a performance. I don't buy that the American team was surprised by this in the least. They knew it was coming, they watched it respectfully, and clapped at the end. And then won the game handily.
posted by chavenet at 10:36 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe American teams should adopt a native american ritual dance from the tribes vanquished from their home regions too.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:54 AM on September 3, 2014


Ugh. It's international basketball that should change, not NZ sports traditions.
How should international basketball change? They're already allowing it to happen. Should international basketball change by instituting a special rule where the opponents of the New Zealand team have to pay attention to it?
posted by Flunkie at 11:26 AM on September 3, 2014


"Maybe American teams should adopt a native american ritual dance from the tribes vanquished from their home regions too."

The Maori were never "vanquished." European adventurers found the islands difficult to invade (even though they were armed with guns and the Maori with spears!), and European settlements and trading posts were mostly made peacefully and with Maori permission; when the Maori did not permit settlement, they expressed their discontent violently and typically won the battles. In the 1840s, the Treaty of Waitangi put New Zealand under British sovereignty, the Maori hoping for British defense against marauding escaped criminals from Sydney and overbearing corporate settlement efforts, the British hoping for a colony (there is continuing dispute about what the treaty actually was meant to do, but it's generally agreed that it's the founding document of "New Zealand" as a nation). In any case, it was not battle, vanquishment, or extermination that brought New Zealand into the British sphere; it was a treaty between the British Crown and the chiefs of the Maori people. Between about 1860 and 1960, Maori culture was significantly declining and the Maori were subjected to many of the same tactics of cultural oppression as other native peoples in other countries, but the suppression was never as thorough, complete, or wholehearted as in other nations, largely because the Maori had so much agency in the European settlement of New Zealand and were not destroyed or defeated but forced European kings to treat with them.

About 15% of New Zealanders identify as Maori, and since the 1960s there's been greater respect and recognition for native traditions, laws, decision-making, culture, etc., and European-New Zealand (or Pakeha culture) has made more and more room for those differing cultural traditions. For example, at many companies, Maori going on job interviews may choose to have a whanau interview, where members of their family/tribe come to the interview to support them (as a job is not something undertaken in solitary disconnection in Maori culture, but with the support of one's family). Pakeha New Zealanders can also do whanau interviews, and some do, especially for a first job.

It is not perfect -- Maori are disproportionately poor, and subject to racial prejudice -- but it is a radically different situation to Native American tribal groups in the United States, and the use of these specific hakas (there are many) by wider New Zealand culture is not appropriation, but is a gift by the Maori elders to the people of New Zealand, both Maori and Pakeha, and is now a tradition that belongs to all the people of New Zealand.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:33 AM on September 3, 2014 [34 favorites]


My family has a long "cultural tradition" of scathing sarcasm. I'd point and laugh and anyone attempting to intimidate me by making stupid faces and stomping their feet like a petulant 8 year old.
posted by cmdnc0 at 11:34 AM on September 3, 2014


Possibly the Turks were responding to the use of the haka at Gallipoli, performed by soldiers of the "Native Battalion" as they cleared enemy trenches during WWI.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:55 AM on September 3, 2014




Though I suppose it *could* be taken as unsporting, which would be a shame, but also, should you be forced to stand and take people yelling at you, which is just unpleasant. It's an interesting question, I think.

OF COURSE you fuckin should! You're squaring the fuck off against your opponent.

Shake hands, hug, & be sporting AFTERWARDS. Before, you stare the mothertrucker down and shout. Try to throw them off their game and discomfort them. Pump yourself up.

Turning your back on a formal challenge is a punk move, because it's explicitly disrespecting your opponent.

This isnt kiddie t-ball.

OTOH i would pay admission just to see a per-wee softball team do a haka.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 3:21 PM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually I'd like to see professional boxers do a haka before a match instead of parading out to some industrial/metal/whatever tune. That could be a lot of fun. In Australia, it's pretty standard in kick/Thai boxing for a kiwi fighter to do a haka AFTER the bout. I've seen this about 10 times at least...
posted by Sedition at 3:28 PM on September 3, 2014


Haka afterwards is gloating. Not rhe classy-move.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 3:51 PM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


And what happens if everybody demands their chance to have their own little song and dance?

I for one would like to see that!
posted by yohko at 5:56 PM on September 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Maybe American teams should adopt a native american ritual dance from the tribes vanquished from their home regions too

What Eyebrows said. But moreover, the reason why the haka is so big in rugby specifically (and why it isn't even close to cultural appropriation in that context) is that 34% of professional rugby players in NZ are Māori. Moreover the All Blacks began life as the "New Zealand Native Team", which supposedly required all members to be Māori (although even at the start they allowed four non-Māori members).

As my link above showed, haka or similar are a tradition from across the Polynesian world, and the percentage of Polynesian heritage players in the All Blacks is extremely high (I'm guessing a good majority, although I don't know for sure). So it's not cultural appropriation, and no one has been vanquished. (Oppressed, murdered, discriminated against, yes, but 'vanquished' is a nasty word that erases the vibrant existing Māori culture and language.)
posted by lollusc at 6:35 PM on September 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


(And I can't speak for the native American experience, but I would be surprised if they love being referred to as 'vanquished' either.)
posted by lollusc at 6:36 PM on September 3, 2014


I would find sportsball more interesting if there was more of this sort of thing.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:01 PM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think the northern hemisphere rugby challenges to the Haka started with Willie Andersons 1989 walk up. I certainly remember watching and wondering if the traditional head-butt was forthcoming.

TBH, the subsequent success of either team is irrelevant. The sheer spectacle of teams confronting each other in a war dance, the Fijian Ciba, Somoan Siva Dau or Tongan Sipa Tau, is a reward of itself.
posted by bolix at 8:02 PM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Maybe American teams should adopt a native american ritual dance from the tribes vanquished from their home regions too

If they wanted something that was Really American, they could respond by putting on a masterclass in talking trash, or perhaps detailing the many undesirable qualities of the opposing team's mothers.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:55 PM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


If they wanted something that was Really American, they could respond by putting on a masterclass in talking trash, or perhaps detailing the many undesirable qualities of the opposing team's mothers.

Set to the rhythm of beer cans crushing on foreheads.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:10 AM on September 4, 2014


I was taught the Haka as a kid (and NZ genuinely does a good job at integrating Maori and British cultures), so I love seeing it, even if as an adult I could not dream of doing it if I could quite remember it.

Damn, I now want to see Lorde doing this in her concert. But is it okay for women?
posted by Mezentian at 8:14 AM on September 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Most traditional haka are male, but there are some traditional haka for women, and most modern haka are for both men and women. Here's is one by NZ women's soccer before a World Cup match. It sounds a little strange with high voices. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:57 AM on September 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


You, Ma'am, are awesome.
My memory of learning it is 6-ish-year-old, so it is hardly a trustworthy memory that we were all boys (I believe we were), but NZ had chanced a lot since then.
posted by Mezentian at 9:06 AM on September 4, 2014


If they wanted something that was Really American, they could respond by putting on a masterclass in talking trash, or perhaps detailing the many undesirable qualities of the opposing team's mothers.

Actually, American sports culture has a lot of uptight, locked-down, WASP cultural norms associated with it. Football players get penalized for doing end-zone dances after a touchdown. Taunting and celebration are both offenses in the NFL. Baseball is having issues assimilating all the Latino players and their warm-country-with-hips-that-move-on-the-dance-floor cultural ways that is too exuberant for the white establishment expecting "Aw, shucks" humility from it's entertainment class.

The culture is shifting, and the tension seems to be between what the owner-class culture wants to see, and what the rabble (whence most of the players originate) want to see.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:10 AM on September 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


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