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The Power of the Haka

I only recently discovered Haka a few days ago after my husband went on a 23 hour video posting spree on FaceBook.

Ah. What is this thing he keeps posting? Why is he flooding my wall with these useless updates?!?

I clicked on a link and instantly found myself mesmerized. For the next three hours, I found myself on YouTube independently clicking through Haka demonstrations as well. It’s easy to get caught up in the raw, visceral emotion of the Haka.

Haka was introduced to popular culture by the All Blacks, New Zealand’s rugby team. They typically perform Ka Mate at the line up. Haka is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.

Author Alan Armstrong defined the Haka in this way:

“The haka is a composition played by many instruments. Hands, feet, legs, body, voice, tongue, and eyes all play their part in blending together to convey in their fullness the challenge, welcome, exultation, defiance or contempt of the words. It is disciplined, yet emotional. More than any other aspect of Maori culture, this complex dance is an expression of the passion, vigour and identity of the race. It is at its best, truly, a message of the soul expressed by words and posture.”

Thanks to some burly men in tight black shirts and shorts – and the rich history of the Haka…of course – I find that I am an unabashed fan of the art and have made it my business to incorporate it into any aspect of my daily life, whether it seems rational or not.

Haka is meant to express emotion, and in the rugby world specifically to intimidate the opponent. This in particular appeals to me. One of my biggest opponents is laundry. I have created a refrain that is sure to scare the socks off my ever growing pile of musty cottons:

  AHHHH!!!! Why won’t you go away?!?
I have washed! I have washed!
And yet you refuse to remain clean!
I will burn you! I will burn you!
You this ever growing pile of laundry!!!
I will BURN you!!!

Fearsome, ain’t it?

How about this Haka for porcelain warfare?


This is green shrapnel! This is brown shrapnel!
You are no match for my mighty brush!
I will scrub you! I will scrub you!
Oh sh*t! What is this on the edge of the seat?
Will I be defeated? I live, I live, I think I’m scared!  AHHHHHH!!!!!

My children are not to be spared from the battle cry and dance of Haka. In truth, they are often the aggressors in any conflict we might find ourselves in, and they are a frightful foe.

 You this small boy! You this small girl!
I’m your mother! Why trouble me?
I just gave you milk but you say you want more?
Leave my shirt! Leave my shirt!
OOOOOH AHHH! Don’t you pull me!
I live! I live! I die! I die!
Ei. I beg. Come away from the stove. Fire go burn you.
Ajeish. Okay. You win.

If you find yourself in a stressful situation, I strongly recommend employing the use of Haka to overcome it. There is wisdom in ancient cultures, and we would all do well not to let them die with the passing of time.

“But Malaka, when will I ever have the occasion to force someone into submission with the beating of  my chest and slapping of my thighs?” you ask.  The bedroom comes to mind, for one. Had I known about Haka when we got married, I would have performed it for my husband on our wedding night.

Stop laughing.

This article has 13 comments

  1. tope olowu

    Now I know you’ve lost it…..this is hilarious, creative and educative. Brilliant write up as always.

  2. fredokono

    Dying with laughter – those photos should have a museum established for them!

  3. African Mami (@afrikanmami12)

    oh mi gosh you seem like such a fun mom!!!! Adopt me!!!! 🙂 I will start dealing with life’s tempest tossed with a HAKA mentality. Great read. #APMG!

  4. NM

    LMBO…This woman……words fail me!

  5. gdanny

    Oh my God, your beauties seem so scared arm of the Haka thing. I am afraid it may be doing more harm than good. I find it so scary .

  6. starchriss

    Malaka, your going off… hahahahaha .. Na which kind Honeymoon be this

  7. whatssheuptonow

    Hahaha! I am from Australia so with NZ as our neighbour I’m very familiar with the haka and love it to death. I actually find it really sexy and have been lucky enough to see it live many times at rugby games and also in NZ at local tribes !! – it’s a fascinating thing and me and my friends/fam always try and re enact and end up on the floor crying with laughter! Great post Malaka ill def be coming back to read more!!! Would love for you to check out my blog too :)keep up the brill work !

    • Malaka

      Dude!!! Don’t tell anyone: I think the Haka is sexy as hell too! Woosh! I just want one of those thick men to throw and toss me to and ‘fro…

      *Comport yourself Malaka. This is a guest.*

      Ahem. I would gladly check your blog out! What a treat to get to read from someone as far away as NZ! Europe is sooo passé 😉

      • whatssheuptonow

        Hahaha it is so sexy, and I may or may not have been lucky enough to have a maori or samoan man (the guys who do the haka) swing me around and toss me to and fro… Shhh don’t tell anyone! 🙂
        Haha I am as far away as NZ but I’m in Australia remember not NZ 🙂

  8. Abena

    Eeeiii Malaka,why?u are always updating ur post on this blog but u keep starving us on Adventures:ATS,do u ve any idea how many times I keep refreshing that page?whhhyyyyy?I don’t think u want me to pull on a HAKA on u bcos I soo can,after all the tutorials u gave was good enough.
    U started on such a good note initially and now u have bcome lazy!*sob*sob*.I have resorted to stalking u here.
    U this woman!
    U are bad,you are bad
    U starve and starve me of Afosua!
    I hate and hate that!
    U better better change or I wld release the woes
    Of ur four kids on u everyday!
    Kids chhhaaaaarrrrrgggggeeee!
    Hehehe,hope it had the desired effects.

    • Malaka

      I am sorry! I am sorry!
      If you give me small time I will feed you!
      I will feed you!

      Did that help? No. Lemme get to writing.

  9. Nana A

    Malaka, your kids would definitely have some fun stories to tell!!! The pics are so funny!!!!!!

  10. isetfiretotherain

    Hahahahaha! You are so hilarious! This was insightful. Bless.

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