The All Blacks’ iconic Haka is today a symbol of not only the heritage of New Zealand but it is also something many would regard as interwoven into the very fabric of the sport of rugby.
It perfectly sets up any major international game, not to mention its ability to get a crowd going ahead of a Rugby World Cup encounter.
With New Zealand’s players set to perform their first Haka of the World Cup on Sunday evening, World Rugby spoke to members of Corey Baker Dance about the history behind this now world-renowned pre-match spectacle.
Corey Baker explains the history and development of the now famous war dance.
“The Haka is traditionally a war dance, something that we would do to intimidate or get ready for a battle or a confrontation.
“Now in New Zealand Haka is used all the time, as a celebration, as a mourning, as a day-to-day thing.”
Another dancer, Chareal Anderson, says that the Haka before games used to be a bit of gimmick but has now taken on a deeper meaning.
“When they first started doing the Haka many, many years ago everyone thought it was great and it was kind of a gimmick,” Anderson told World Rugby.
“Now they’re so much more emotionally attached, they know what they’re doing a Haka for and it’s just incredible. I feel like I’m part of a great, bigger purpose.”
The All Blacks will be hoping that their Haka can help in inspiring them to their third Rugby World Cup triumph.
Having only ever won it on home soil, there is also an added incentive for New Zealand to prove they can do it away from home too.
Learn about the history behind the Haka below.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena