Kapa Haka is the term used for the traditional Maori performing arts. The term kapa haka derives its meaning from two words: kapa (to stand in rows) and haka (M?ori dance). Kapa haka requires the performers to sing, dance, have expression as well as movement and combine all these elements into each performed item. In this sense, kapa haka also acts as a sign language, as each action has a meaning that mirrors the spoken words.
Here, our youngest sprog is making the ‘wiri’ hand gesture. The wiri represents the world around us, from the shimmering of the waters of a bright sunny day, to the heat waves rising from the ground to the wind rustling the leaves of the trees.
The boys of the Taupaki School Kapa Haka group perform the ‘Ra! Hupane, Ka -upane!’ part of the Ka Mate haka, the original of the two haka used by the All Blacks before their rugby internationals.
The newer haka, “Kapa o Pango”, features the controversial throat-slitting gesture which has received so much criticism – usually from the national press of the opposing team! For more information on the kapa haka and Maori culture, try http://www.maori.org.nz