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What is the haka?
Actions include foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant. The words of a haka often poetically describe ancestors and events in the tribe's history. Traditionally, the haka was performed when two parties met as part of the customs around encounters. For example, the haka was used on the battlefield to prepare warriors mentally and physically for battle, but it was also performed when groups came together in peace. This includes family events, like birthdays and weddings. Haka dances can be performed at weddings as a show of respect, to show reverence for the couple and their guests or to mark the important milestone. Haka are also used to challenge opponents on the sports field. The words to this particular haka dance have become famous around the world since it became a part of the pregame ritual of the All Blacks. The haka they perform before an international match is called 'Ko Uhia Mai' which means 'Let it be known' and was composed by Whetu Tipiwai. Regular haka waiata sessions enable the Black Ferns to honour their cultural roots and traditions.
The music of New Zealand has been influenced by blues , jazz , country , rock and roll and hip hop , with many of these genres given a unique New Zealand interpretation. In the nineteenth century, European settlers brought musical forms to New Zealand including brass bands and choral music , and musicians began touring New Zealand in the s. New Zealand has a national orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra , and many regional orchestras. A number of New Zealand composers have developed international reputations.
Songs waiata are sung solo, in unison or at the octave. Types of song include lullabies oriori , love songs waiata aroha and laments waiata tangi. Traditionally all formal speeches are followed by a waiata sung by the speaker and their group of supporters. Some of the smaller wind instruments are also sung into, and the sound of the poi raupo ball swung on the end of a flax cord provides a rhythmic accompaniment to waiata poi. It was a bad omen for a song to be interrupted, so singers would perform in subgroups to allow each to breathe without interrupting the flow of the chant. The karanga is given by women only. The woman performing the call for the welcoming group is called the kai karanga, while the woman responding on behalf of the visitors is called the kai whakaatu. The karanga follows a format which includes a series of discussions such as whaikorero, mihi and whakawhanaungatanga and addressing and greeting each other and the people they are representing and paying tribute to the dead, especially those who have died recently. The purpose of the occasion is also addressed during this time. Traditionally, the karanga was a time where the tangata whenua could determine whether the visiting party were visiting in peace or for purposes of war.