Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 26, 2019.
It’s what representing their country is all about – walking out in New Zealand’s All Blacks jersey, facing their opposition, and delivering a spine-tingling, hair-raising Haka before the whistle blows for kick-off.
The sights and sounds of the Haka – feet stomping, fists pumping, vocal chords straining – are deeply entrenched within New Zealand culture.
“For me, the Haka is a symbol of who we are and where we come from,” former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw told CNN in 2015.
“This is who we are. Obviously it comes from a Maori background but I think it also resonates with all Kiwis.”
Hakas were performed across the country in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings as a way of unifying people at times of grief. There are many different types of Haka, and