Photo by Sonya & Jason Hills
Have you been watching the Rugby World Cup, which is now happening in England? If you've seen New Zealand's national team play, you might have noticed something unusual before the match: the haka.
Traditionally, the Maori dance called the haka was performed before a battle by warriors to intimidate the opposition. Today, the haka is associated with New Zealand rugby and the national team, the All Blacks, perform a haka before every international match. Powerful and exciting, the haka gives a sense of drama to any occasion.
Back in in 2005, before a match against South Africa, the All Blacks introduced a particularly aggressive variation containing Polynesian moves to reflect the multicultural origins of the team. That particular haka concluded with a throat slitting gesture. While it was supposed to represent drawing energy into the heart and lungs, that's certainly not what it looked like to the South Africans. But see for yourself:
Perhaps, not too surprisingly, the All Blacks went on to win the match.
Now it's time to tackle our quiz on the haka and Maori culture which accompanies Spotlight 10/2008, "Christchurch: New Zealand's southern star". After practice you'll be able to blow the whistle on bad grammar.
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