Monday, July 14, 2014

Māori Warriors Haka

This one has been floating around since last year. Every time I see it, the static tingle comes back and my nerves let me know I'm still alive through my lacrimal ducts. The sheer flow of emotion coming out of these warriors tells me their fallen are loved and highly respected. Incredibly powerful...

These are the soldiers of 2/1 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. The comrades they lost to an IED strike were Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, Private Richard Harris, 21, and Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26. Jacinda was the first New Zealand female soldier killed in Afghanistan. This video shows the soldiers  performing their Unit haka, powerfully acknowledging the lives and feats of their fallen comrades as they come onto the Unit's parade ground. It is also an emotive farewell for they will leave via the waharoa (the carved entrance way) for the very last time.

Haka is used throughout New Zealand by many, not only Māori, to demonstrate their collective thoughts. There is a haka for each of the Services, as well as the Defence Force. Units with the NZ Army have their own haka. "Haka --sometimes termed a posture dance could also be described as a chant with actions. There are various forms of haka; some with weapons some without, some have set actions others may be 'free style.' Haka is used by Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) for a myriad of reasons; to challenge or express defiance or contempt, to demonstrate approval or appreciation, to encourage or to discourage, to acknowledge feats and achievements, to welcome, to farewell, as an expression of pride, happiness or sorrow. There is almost no inappropriate occasion for haka; it is an outward display of inner thoughts and emotions. Within the context of an occasion, it is abundantly clear which emotion is being expressed." 

I see your daily views here New Zealand... Thanks for stopping by!

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