The New Zealand Rugby Team and the exciting Maori Culture
August 23, 2011 by Karen In Category Sport
Many people who are not even fans of rugby will watch the Rugby World Cup for one reason – the Haka. A war dance of the Maori (New Zealand’s original inhabitants), it has been an eagerly anticipated feature of virtually every international rugby match that New Zealand has participated in since 1906.
Strictly speaking, Haka is a broad term that refers to different types of Maori dances. The one regularly performed by the rugby team is the Ka Mate. The Ka Mate is a celebration of victory against a strong enemy. This fits well with the good sportsmanship and respect for one’s opponent expected of any sport – even though the dance is performed with an aggressive, almost intimidating style.
The Haka is not the only aspect of the Maori that has permeated New Zealand Rugby. The national team today always has members who are Maori or that have some Maori blood. Like other South Pacific indigenous peoples such as the Samoans, Tongans and Fijians, the Maori men are known for their large bodies, which in some quarters are thought of as built for the game of rugby. The fact that Samoa, Tonga and Fiji are strong rugby nations in their rights attests to this.
So with the tons of muscle and Haka on display, is it any wonder that the New Zealand men’s Rugby team is the most popular among women?