Monday, July 23, 2012

The Maori & the Haka

My law school friend, I'll affectionately call her Kitty, sent me a youtube video of rugby players doing a Haka chant as motivation for the NY bar exam tomorrow.  (If you haven't watched rugby players do the Haka, GOOGLE IT.  Because, really, who doesn't love a rugby player?)

The Maori can be loosely defined as the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.  The "Ka Mate" is a Maori haka (an ancestral war cry) that was originally composed by the Ngāti Toa chief Te Raupauraha circa 1820 as a celebration of life over death.  For those of you who have not heard the Haka, it usually goes something like this:

Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!
Ka mate! ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!
Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru
Nāna nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā
Ā, upane! ka upane!
Ā, upane, ka upane, whiti te ra!


’Tis death! ‘tis death! (or: I may die) ’Tis life! ‘tis life! (or: I may live)
’Tis death! ‘tis death! ’Tis life! ‘tis life!
This is the hairy man
Who brought the sun and caused it to shine
A step upward, another step upward!
A step upward, another... the Sun shines!

It sounds something like this when chanted.

I will probably definitely be listening to the Haka tomorrow morning. 

Image here.

Best of luck to everyone sitting US Bar exams this week (and anyone else who feels the need to "haka")!


p.s.  I cannot wait to get back to blogging regularly!  Please stay tuned!

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