If you want to know what is Haka wedding, you must understand Maori wedding traditions. We will discuss this fascinating performance in more detail below to further appreciate and understand the meaning behind it.
We will also talk about the other traditions you can expect at a Maori wedding ceremony.
Will you be having your wedding in New Zealand? We recommend reading what to include in a destination wedding invitation to help inform the guests of everything they need to know.
What Is Wedding Haka?
The Haka is a traditional war cry and chant performed by the Maori. The performance is characterized by chest thumps, shouting, exaggerated movements, and even facial expressions to intimidate tribal opponents.
However, a Haka can also be performed on special occasions such as weddings. Nowadays, it’s easy to find different videos online of Haka performances at weddings.
Truly, it’s a moving performance that will make anyone feel grateful to witness, especially if it’s your first name. Therefore, we must remain respectful and take the time to learn more about the meaning of the Haka.
What is a Haka dance at a wedding?
Since the Haka is a war cry for intimidation of enemies, one might naturally wonder why it’s performed at a wedding. Some viewers might interpret it as the men intimidating the groom, but the Haka dance at a wedding is also meant for celebrations.
It can be interpreted as a sign of respect or a way to mark a milestone, especially for the people getting married and about to enter life as a wife and a husband. According to the website of New Zealand, Haka can also be performed as a sign of unity when groups come together in peace.
Remember that weddings are also a collaboration of two families as in any other culture. Regardless, you can even expect to see Haka at various events like graduations and birthdays nowadays.
What is the Haka supposed to do?
According to traditions and customs, Haka should be performed when two parties meet. This is why you’ll also see Haka being performed to greet some people who visited New Zealand.
Haka was also used to prepare warriors before a battle physically and mentally. In addition, Haka is supposed to intimidate opponents, which is apparent when the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks perform it before each match.
But today, it’s also seen performed in weddings and other celebratory events like birthdays and graduations. In these settings, Haka shows the importance of such an occasion and honors the guests.
Why are Hakas so emotional?
Whether it’s your first time or not, it’s not a surprise to feel intense emotions and get touched witnessing a Haka performance. After all, the movements and facial expressions of the performance are meant to move the viewers.
It was meant to cause fear with the grunting and exaggerated movements back then. But as the Haka takes on new meanings, the viewers will still feel emotions as the performance shows solidarity and respect.
Knowing the origin of the Haka will surely make anyone feel honored to witness it. Furthermore, it’s not every day that we see people expressing themselves verbally and physically in such a powerful performance.
Is it disrespectful to do the Haka?
It’s essential to understand the meaning of everything you’re doing if you want to perform the Haka. Some Haka can also be performed by anyone, while others are exclusive for males and females.
A non-Maori is welcome to learn the Haka, but take the time to understand the chants and expressions. It will also help you express them more genuinely when performing this traditional ritual.
Refrain from doing the Haka without seriousness, much like when you’re learning other customs from any culture. Instead, be respectful when given a chance to be taught a Haka.
What Is A Maori Wedding Like?
- A Maori wedding starts with a Welcome Call called the Te Karanga, inviting the bride and groom to the Maori location.
- The local tribe will then perform a song and dance called the Te Powhiri.
- The Maori marriage ceremony itself is called the Korowai, where the man places a cloak around the woman
- After the ceremony, the priest will bless the couple with prayer during the Te Manaakitanga
- The guests will then present Taonga or gifts to the couple
- The couple will touch their noses during Hongi to seal the Korowai ceremony, then exit with a traditional farewell song and dance during the Te Haere Atu
- There is also the Te Hakari or feast and celebrations after the wedding
Do you want a wedding that pays homage to your roots? Read about what kind of wedding should I have.
And that’s it! To recap what is Haka wedding, it is a Maori ritual performed at weddings.
While the Haka is used to prepare warriors before a fight, it’s also seen in weddings and other celebratory events to honor the guests and highlight the importance of the occasion. Therefore, it’s crucial that, as a viewer, you remain respectful during the Haka.
And if you’re interested in performing it, a non-Maori can learn the Haka as well, given that you’ll understand the meanings behind it.