15 September 2014

New Zealand basketball team's haka

Before their match with the United States team, the New Zealanders performed a traditional "haka"
The various types of haka include whakatu waewae, tutu ngarahu and peruperu. The peruperu is characterised by leaps during which the legs are pressed under the body. In former times, the peruperu was performed before a battle in order to invoke the god of war and to discourage and frighten the enemy. It involved fierce facial expressions and grimaces, poking out of the tongue, eye bulging, grunts and cries, and the waving of weapons. If the haka was not performed in total unison, this was regarded as a bad omen for the battle. Often, warriors went naked into battle, apart from a plaited flax belt around the waist.

The tutu ngarahu also involves jumping, but from side to side, while in the whakatu waewae no jumping occurs. Another kind of haka performed without weapons is the ngeri, the purpose of which was to motivate the warriors psychologically. The movements are very free, and each performer is expected to be expressive of their feelings. Manawa wera haka were generally associated with funerals or other occasions involving death. Like the ngeri they were performed without weapons, and there was little or no choreographed movement.


  1. USA 98
    New Zealand 71

    Hakka, hakka, hakka :)

    1. Hi Brad,

      Coincidentally the All Blacks will be playing the American side in rugby in Chicago November 1st, I guess we will see if the winning streak continues :) They are a good side but at this stage I wouldn't put the house on the Eagles. Your (I'm assuming you are American) dominant sport beat our minority sport (I'm a kiwi), see you at the return fixture. Plus you'll see the haka again; either Ka Mate or Kapa o Pango,


    2. Go Eagles! They didn't do so bad last year. 29-19 loss. This could be our year!

      Also, if one thinks a pre-game bit of taunting is acceptable, then relishing a little post-game taunting should fall within the boundaries of propriety. :)

      So dance while you can, Josh! Dance while you can.

      Good luck on the 1st,


  2. Our Nationally ranked Trinity Trojans HS Football team started doing this back in 2004.It was great!
    scared the other team, and delighted the fans.
    They became real cause celebre doing it too.

  3. I like "the what the fuck" looks on the face of their opponents. Of course rugby fans would be much better acquainted with the haka. Quite a few other pacific islanders also have their own haka, but the New Zealanders are most famous for it.

  4. My favourite haka (kapa o pango), led by my favourite all black (Tana Umaga)


    Also, the "hakas" performed in other pacific islands are known under other names. For example: in Samoa the common war dance is known as the Siva Tau while the Tongans perform a Kailao, the Sipi Tau version of which is performed before rugby matches, and so on.

  5. What I would like to know is: did it work? Did they win?

    1. See Brad's comment above. But a loss doesn't mean it didn't "work" because without the haka they might have lost by 30 points...

    2. I think it "worked" fine, considering that the USA has more than 70 times the population of New Zealand, NZ has one professional basketball team (which cannot compete in NZ since NZ has no professional basketball league) whose players are paid an average of about $66,000 per year (compare to the NBA's league-average salary which according to Forbes was $5.15 million in 2012 and expected to rise), and basketball in general in New Zealand languishes behind swimming, cycling, golf, tennis, cricket, rugby, soccer, touch football, netball, and canoeing in adult participation, and behind rugby union, netball, rugby league, soccer, cricket, golf, and tennis in TV ratings. I reckon the Tall Blacks are doin' okay =)

  6. Hi Stan,

    I couldn't enter a comment in the post above re: led zep song.

    Have you ever thought about using HootSuite to "bulk schedule" your posts during your absences?



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