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The Haka..............

Term Paper Title: The Haka..............
Word Count: 484
Page Count: 1.94 (250 words per page double spaced)

The Haka..............


What is Haka? The Maori people have always excelled in the art of haka, which is the generic term for Maori dance. Henare Teowai of Ngati Porou, an acknowledged master of the art of haka was asked on his death-bed, "What is the art of performing haka?". He replied: "Kia korero te katoa o te tinana." (The whole body should speak). Another definition was provided by Alan Armstrong in his book Maori Games and Haka (Reed,1964) as follows. "The haka is a composition played by any instruments. Hands, feet, legs, body, voice, tongue, and eyes all play their part in blending together to convey in their fullness the challenge, welcome, exultation, defiance or contempt of the words." "It is disciplined, yet emotional. More than any other aspect of Maori culture, this complex dance is an expression of the passion, vigour and identity of the race. It is at it's best, truly, a message of the soul expressed by words and posture.." One of the initial refrains which the leader of the haka utters just prior to everyone performing the haka itself is shown below. These words simply serve to remind the performers how to comport themselves when they do the haka. They should be shouted out in a ferocious and staccato manner, designed to instil strength and determination into the performers, such that they enact the haka with the power and force required


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