Thursday, January 31, 2013

オポタカ歴史保存地区、ハカの歴史 Opataka Historical site and the history of haka

Birthplace of the ka mate haka
English translation below:

On the third day of our stay at Hatepe marae (meeting house) in Taupo, we visited the place where the a famous haka was born. On the surface, it appears that “the haka” is a warrior dance conducted by men, but actually the word “haka” means dance and is done by both men and women depending on the haka. The word haka itself is often used to indicate that dancers or singers should act with more passion or vigor. Often times when doing a haka people will say “We’re gonna haka this part” to get the group to put some more umph into it.
The place we visited was the birth place of one style of haka which begins with the incantation  “ka mate ka mate ka ora ka ora” proclaiming “’Tis death! ‘tis death!  ’Tis life! ‘tis life!”
Our marae host Danny Morehu that by explained by visiting this place we can deepen our understanding of haka even further. It was a precious time for us all. After, we gazed out at the hill on the opposite side of the bank while Danny told us stories about the mountain.

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