Aladdin's Cave " The Haka " Funnies Index
The Moari challenge to teams at the start of their games
Here are the words and a translation of the haka performed by the New Zealand All Blacks before matches, as well as a short history on what its all about.


Ka mate Ka mate

It is death It is death

Ka ora  Ka ora
It is life It is life

Ka mate Ka mate
It is death It is death

Ka ora  Ka ora
It is life It is life

Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru
This is the hairy man

Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra
Who caused the sun to shine again for me

Upane Upane
Up the ladder   Up the ladder

Upane Kaupane
Up to the top

Whiti te ra
The sun shines!

The haka is a war dance. The words are chanted loudly (shouted) in a menacing way accompanied by arm actions and foot stamping. A haka was traditionally performed before charging into battle.

The Maori pronunciation is basically one vowel per syllable, with the vowels having the European rather than English sound. The `wh' is aspirated almost like an `f' (f is good enough for most people).

As for what it all means, about 140 years ago, a particularly notorious warlike chief named Te Rauparaha of the Ngati Toa tribe (based just North of present day Wellington), was being chased by his enemies. He hid in a kumara pit (the local sweet potato, only much better) and waited in the dark for his pursuers to find him. He heard sounds above and thought he was done for when the top of the pit was opened up and sunshine flooded in.

He was blinded and struggled to see those about to slay him, when his sight cleared and he instead saw the hairy legs of the local chief (reputed to have been exceptionally hirsute) who had hid him.

Te Rauparaha is said to have jumped from the pit and performed this haka on the spot, so happy was he to have escaped. Undoubtedly, he also had in his mind to do a little pursuing of his own --- Te Rauparaha being that way inclined was he.