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The greatest ritual in world sport performed at the basketball world cup

Haka Dance

3rd September 2014

The New Zealand basketball team had something special in store for the Spanish crowd at the FIBA basketball world cup. Prior to their match against USA, the entire team performed the ‘Haka Dance’. The Haka is a traditional Maori dance from New Zealand and the version which the sports teams, most notably the rugby team, perform is the Ka Mate version.

Here is the Haka dance video from the New Zealand vs USA game.

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In case you were wondering, what exactly are they saying in the dance, below are the ‘lyrics’ along with the actions performed in the dance.

"Ka Mate"
Leader: Ringa pakia! Slap the hands against the thighs!
Uma tiraha! Puff out the chest.
Turi whatia! Bend the knees!
Hope whai ake! Let the hips follow!
Waewae takahia kia kino! Stomp the feet as hard as you can!
Leader: Ka mate, ka mate I die, I die,
Team: Ka ora' Ka ora' I live, I live
Leader: Ka mate, ka mate I die, I die,
Team: Ka ora Ka ora " I live, I live,
All: T?nei te tangata p?huruhuru This is the hairy man
N?na i tiki mai whakawhiti te r? ...Who caused the sun to shine again for me
A Upane! Ka Upane! Up the ladder, Up the ladder
Upane Kaupane" Up to the top
Whiti te r?,! The sun shines!
H?! Rise!

So why exactly do the teams perform the Haka dance? The war-cry of the New Zealand team is often believed to intidimate the opponents. Although, the basketball team could not replicate the performance on the court, the dance received a standing ovation from the crowd as well as the American players.

The dance was started a rugby tradition back in 1900 and has been since performed just prior to the start of the rugby match. The rugby team’s Haka dance is a sight to behold!

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Edited by Staff Editor
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