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Thread: Awesome article regarding war dances, ie haka, etc

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    Awesome article regarding war dances, ie haka, etc

    Rugby's war of words
    (Rugby News Service) Friday 14 September 2007
    By Olivia McGrath

    PARIS, 14 September - When Samoa and Tonga meet in Montpellier on Sunday it will be the first time two Pacific Island war cries have gone head to head at a world cup match.

    Gone are the shields, spears and the tribal warlords of times past, replaced by modern warriors waging a new kind of battle on the rugby pitch.


    New Zealand have long been famous for performing their pre-match haka, but they're not the only ones with an ancient war dance to get the blood pumping and crowds roaring.

    Fiji, Samoa and Tonga all have their own rituals derived from their warrior ancestry.

    Fiji - cibi

    Fiji's war dance, the cibi (pronounced thimbi), has been performed on the rugby pitch since their first tour of New Zealand in 1939. The cibi is believed to be derived from a Bauan war cry called cibi ni I valu.

    When returning from battle victorious, warriors would sing the cibi, brandishing their weapons and flying flags, one for each enemy slain.

    Fiji fly half Nicky Little believes the cibi continues to fire up the team: "It's a tribal psych-up for war. I think it makes a few people crazy," he said.

    Ai tei vovo, tei vovo
    E ya, e ya, e ya, e ya;
    Tei vovo, tei vovo
    E ya e ya, e ya, e ya

    Rai tu mai, rai tu mai
    Oi au a viriviri kemu bai
    Rai tu mai, rai ti mai
    Oi au a viriviri kemu bai

    Toa yalewa, toa yalewa,
    Veico, veico, veico.
    Au tabu moce koi au
    Au moce ga ki domo ni biau.

    E luvu koto ki ra nomu waqa
    O kaya beka au sa luvu sara
    Nomu bai e wawa mere
    Au tokia ga ka tasere

    (English translation)
    Make ready, make ready,
    Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh;
    Make ready, make ready,
    Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh;

    Look hither, look hither,
    I build a breastwork for you,
    Look hither, look hither,
    I build a breastwork for you.

    A cock and a hen,
    They attack, attack, attack,
    It is tabu for me to slumber,
    Except to the sound of breakers.

    Your ship is sunk below,
    Don't think I'm drowned too.
    Your defence is just waiting
    To crumble when I prick it.

    Samoa – siva tau

    The Samoan war dance is the siva tau, first composed for RWC 1991.

    For the Samoa captain Semo Sititi, the siva sau honours his country's history and represents the team as warriors ready to fight: "It's to fire us up, to show that we're there ready to battle, not just to go through the motions," he said.

    Le Manu Samoa e, ia manú le fai o le faiva Le Manu Samoa e, ia manú le fai o le faiva
    Le Manu Samoa e, ia manú le fai o le faiva
    Le Manu Samoa lenei ua ou sau
    Leai se isi Manu o le atulaulau
    Ua ou sau nei ma le mea atoa
    Ma lo'u malosi ua atoatoa
    Ia e faatafa ma e sósó ese
    Leaga o lenei Manu e uiga ese
    Le Manu Samoa! Le Manu Samoa!
    Le Manu Samoa e o mai i Samoa!
    Hi!

    (English translation)
    The Manu Samoa, may you succeed in your mission.
    The Manu Samoa, here I come.
    There is no other Manu anywhere.
    Here I come completely prepared.
    My strength is at its peak.
    Make way and move aside,
    Because this Manu is unique.
    The Manu Samoa,
    The Manu Samoa,

    Tonga – sipi tau

    Tonga's sipi tau is considered by some to be the most aggressive of the war dances as the players advance toward their opponents.

    It was an intense scene at RWC 2003 when Tonga and New Zealand faced off with simultaneous war dances.

    The sipi tau is a version of the Tongan kailao war dance. The kailao is typically without words, usually accompanied by drums. However, the Tongan team's sipi tau includes promises to "crunch fierce hearts".

    Ei e! Ei e!
    Teu lea pea tala ki mamani katoa
    Ko e 'ikale taki kuo halofia
    Ke 'ilo 'e he sola moe taka
    Koe 'aho ni teu tamate tangata
    'A e haafe mo e tautua'a
    Kuo hu'i hoku anga tangata
    He! He! 'Ei e. Tu
    Teu peluki e molo moe foueti taka
    Pea ngungu mo ha loto fita'a
    Keu mate ai he ko hoku loto
    Ko Tonga pe mate ki he moto
    Ko Tonga pe mate ki he moto
    'Ei e! Ei e!

    (English translation)
    I shall speak to the whole world
    The sea eagle is starved
    Let the foreigner and sojourner beware
    Today, destroyer of souls I am, everywhere
    To the half back and the backs
    I have shed my human characteristics
    Maul and loose forwards I shall mow
    And crunch any fierce hearts you know
    I drink the ocean and consume the fire
    To death or victory my will is fine
    That's how Tonga gives to her motto
    To her motto, Tonga gives all
    To her motto, Tonga gives all
    Hi! Hi!

    New Zealand – haka

    New Zealand's haka is probably the best known of the war dances and was first performed by the New Zealand Native team in an overseas representative match on the 1888-89 tour of Britain.

    Haka is a common name for a Maori war dance, which exists in many different forms. The All Blacks brought the Ka Mate haka to the world stage, but since 2006 have started performing a new ceremonial haka, the Kapa O Panga.

    The Ka Mate haka is a story about pursuit and escape, and fundamentally survival. It is said to have been composed in the 1800s by warrior chief Te Rauparaha.

    The words of the Ka Mate refer to the highs and lows faced in battle, the lengths one will go to in order to survive; in Te Rauparaha's case, going against custom and pride by hiding in a pit beneath the skirts of a woman.

    The new Kapa O Panga haka has been received with some controversy, with the final throat-slitting gesture considered by some an excessive show of aggression, although according to the Kapa O Pango composer Derek Lardelli, it's simply an action intended to draw energy through the vital organs and release the warrior into battle.

    Ka Mate haka

    Ka Mate! Ka Mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
    Ka Mate! Ka Mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
    Tenei te tangata puhuru huru
    Nana nei I tiki mai
    Whakawhiti te ra
    A upa … ne! ka upa …ne!
    A upane kaupane whiti te ra!
    Hi!

    (English translation)

    I die! I die! I live! I live!
    I die! I die! I live! I live!
    This is the hairy man
    Who fetched the sun
    And caused it to shine again
    One upward step! Another upward step!
    An upward step, another… the sun shines!

    Kapa O Pango

    Kapa O Pango kia whakawhenua au I ahau!
    Hi aue ii!
    Ko Aotearoa e ngunguru nei!
    Au, au aue ha!
    Ko Kapa O Pango e ngunguru nei!
    Au, au, aue ha!
    I ahaha!
    Ka tu te ihiihi
    Ka tu te wanawana
    Ki runga ki te rangi e tu iho nei, tu iho nei ihi!
    Ponga ra!
    Kapa O Pango, aue hi!
    Ponga ra!
    Kapa O Pango, aue hi!

    (English translation)
    All Blacks, let me become one with the land
    This is our land that rumbles
    It's my time! It's my moment!
    This defines us as the All Blacks
    It's my time! It's my moment!
    Our dominance
    Our supremacy will triumph
    And will be properly revered, placed on high
    Silver fern!
    All Blacks!
    Silver fern!
    All Blacks!

    Turn away if you dare

    Opinions vary as to whether the opposing side should face the war dance as a sign of respect.

    Eyebrows were raised after New Zealand's opening match at RWC 2007 when the Italians turned their backs to the haka, but New Zealand hooker Anton Oliver believes it's a personal choice: "You get more respect from us if you do (face it)," he said. "But I don't think any less of the Italians in their decision to do it (huddle away from the haka)."

    And when Tonga and Samoa meet, there'll be no turned backs after Samoa captain Semo Sititi spelled out his views: "You should face it. When we play Tonga we will be facing them."

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    Player Jethro's Avatar
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    Oh for flocks sake it's a challenge not a "war dance" some journos need to spend more time learning Pac Island culture before making complete prats of themselves with gormless reporting.

    Shields ???? wtf ?????

    Very poor standard of reporting. Burger clearly didn't nut anyone, slow news day.

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    And it's not the first time either - NZ has played Tonga in each of the last two RWC and they have both done their respective challenges.

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    Champion Contributor Seldom's Avatar
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    Shields and spears???? What history book that norm been looking in. War Dances my arse, perhaps he should go to the pacific and see the real/traditional war dances from these nations, would crap his dacks if he faced one!!!!!! Being of part Samoan and Fijian decent, it shows the lack of research and level of reporting by some ignorant reporters.

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    I don't think it is what he was referring to however, in the past some of the nations have had a "mascot" warrior in full regalia to lead the challenge, so "shields and spears" is perhaps appropriate by error?

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    One of the most impressive memories I have of the 2003 RWC was the sight of the "dueling" Haka's of Tonga and New Zealand.

    Long may these "war dances" continue to be part of the tradition that is Rugby.

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    "Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!" - Rocky Balboa

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jethro
    Oh for flocks sake it's a challenge not a "war dance"
    If it is a challenge.....why is it, that it cannot be challenged

    Until such time it's just a dance with hoistoric meaning

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    I have previously heard from Maori that it is in fact open season to challenge it back if you have the "mana" or whatever it is called.
    Any player of Maori decent in the Wallabies could actual do the traditional AB's haka or a family one back at them at the same time!

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    Champion Skiza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs
    I have previously heard from Maori that it is in fact open season to challenge it back if you have the "mana" or whatever it is called.
    Any player of Maori decent in the Wallabies could actual do the traditional AB's haka or a family one back at them at the same time!
    Now that is something i'd like to see!!
    Sounds about right...i should know but i dont

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    Willie Mason (Ok I knowhe's a mingo and a bit of a prat but it serves the thread to mention him) claims some sort of Maori heritage (I know not what) and a big deal was made in the media of his choice to laugh derisively and mouth abuse to the haka when Aus played NZ in the league recently. It appearsthat he was showing his opinion of the people challenging him.

    I don't know how much I'd trust his cultural knowledge, but that sorta makes sense to me, if they perform the Kapa O Pango one to teams they disrespect, I see nothing wrong with treating their challenge with the same amount of respect.

    But then I'm not maori, so I don't really know how it works!

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Personally i think that when the ABs decided to "invent" a new Haka they altered a respected tradition. Now, IMO, it's completely up to the oppo how they relate/react to or ignore the Haka.

    Kiwi journalist Maurice Smyth apparently agrees. Here's his take on the Haka in the modern Rugby era.

    The haka is fortunate to have been introduced to the game a century or so ago because I don’t believe it would make it to first base today.
    Say, for example, I was coach or manager of a hosting, or a visiting, international side, and an All Blacks’ official took me aside to say something like this:
    ‘‘Here’s the thing. We have a special ceremony in our country and we’d like to show it to you. It’s a sort of Maori war-dance and it’s meant to challenge and intimidate you just before the first whistle.
    ‘‘We’ll belt into it and all you have to do is tell the lads to line up and pay attention because if you don’t . . . well, that would be culturally disrespectful. Okay?’’
    When I’d caught my breath, I guess my response would be: ‘‘You can haka your heart out — to the cameras, the press box, the terraces. But I’ll be over there watching my team warm up.
    ‘‘We’re not here for the entertainment. Our challenge comes after the first whistle.’’
    My respect would be shown as a generous host or honoured guest but not during a one-sided, pre-match sideshow.
    Wouldn’t have a bar of being given a wind-up like that, throat-slitting or not.
    Seriously, would you?

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    Nice work Maurice

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    Easiest way to wind up the AB's is not to respect the Haka. It can change the mind set to aggressive tackling, big hits and the effort of posting a huge score.

    AB's need to go back to the aggressive Haka, as most team have are now use to the old one. The Haka is suppose to intimidate the opposition not for entertainment.

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    Well if it is supposed to intimidate then I propose that Australia enlist 22 fully armed SAS to parachute in to the ground and stare back at the "tough" AB's and watch the little bit of brown moisture dribble down their inner thighs...
    I can tolerate it being continued as a tradition, even though we all know that is a psych up tool, but if is portrayed in its actual real light then I reckon its day is done.
    Why should one team have the ability to gee themselves up while the other team is expected to stand there and watch.
    And I would be disappointed to actually hear from an AB directly that they play any differently whether the Haka is "respected" or not!
    I reckon it's just a line the media trot out to perpetuate the myth.

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    Player Jethro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta
    Personally i think that when the ABs decided to "invent" a new Haka they altered a respected tradition. Now, IMO, it's completely up to the oppo how they relate/react to or ignore the Haka.

    Kiwi journalist Maurice Smyth apparently agrees. Here's his take on the Haka in the modern Rugby era.

    The haka is fortunate to have been introduced to the game a century or so ago because I don’t believe it would make it to first base today.
    Say, for example, I was coach or manager of a hosting, or a visiting, international side, and an All Blacks’ official took me aside to say something like this:
    ‘‘Here’s the thing. We have a special ceremony in our country and we’d like to show it to you. It’s a sort of Maori war-dance and it’s meant to challenge and intimidate you just before the first whistle.
    ‘‘We’ll belt into it and all you have to do is tell the lads to line up and pay attention because if you don’t . . . well, that would be culturally disrespectful. Okay?’’
    When I’d caught my breath, I guess my response would be: ‘‘You can haka your heart out — to the cameras, the press box, the terraces. But I’ll be over there watching my team warm up.
    ‘‘We’re not here for the entertainment. Our challenge comes after the first whistle.’’
    My respect would be shown as a generous host or honoured guest but not during a one-sided, pre-match sideshow.
    Wouldn’t have a bar of being given a wind-up like that, throat-slitting or not.
    Seriously, would you?
    Maurice Smyth showing a complete misunderstanding of Maori culture and tradition of course, nice to see racism is alive and well in the kiwi media. The haka is not intended as a method to "intimidate" the opposition as stated here, it's a challenge to a respected opponent. BTW the new one is only brought out against teams the ABs highly respect. There are in fact a multitude of hakas in kiwiland, the ABs simply wrote a new one with the backing of Tribal groups.

    Note no one is going on about the Aussies belting out Matilda pre test as is the fashion at least in Sydney even with Williamson murdering it.

    Didn't the ARU toy with a Koori challenge a few years ago, and then decided to drop the whole thing

    Remove the Pac Island challenges, as such notables as Stephen Jones call upon when they need to cover up the latest pommie fiasco, and that's just another tradition of the game gone.

    The trick to facing a haka, and yes have done so when playing rugger in kiwiland, is to face up to it and psych yourself up. Instant mana for accepting the challenge of course.

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