What is the link between Haka dance and New Zealand rugby team?
Malini VK - Infobite 30-Jul-2020
"Haka" is a ceremonial war dance performed by a tribal group called Maori in New Zealand. The dance typically represents the fierce display of tribe's unity, strength, and pride. Stamping the foot, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping accompanied by a loud chant completes the dance.
Traditionally, Haka was used on the battlefield to prepare warriors mentally and physically for the battle. It was also performed when groups came together in peace.
Nowadays, it is performed to welcome distinguished guests or to acknowledge great achievements, family events, weddings, birthdays etc.
The Maori war dance became world famous when it was performed as a pregame ritual by The New Zealand native football team during 1888-89 international tour.
The All Blacks popularized and make it familiar with their choreographed dance and chants.
Haka is used to challenge the opponents on the sports field. It instills a feeling of courage in the participants and a feeling of terror in the opponents. The All Blacks perform it stunningly to show their physical strength and skill.
In Wellington in 1996, the Australian rugby team turned their backs on the All-Blacks' Haka, focusing on their own warm-ups instead of their opponents' fearsome traditional challenge. The All Blacks responded by thrashing Australia 43-6.