THE RUGBY WORLD CUP: THE DANCE: SINGALONGA-HAKA

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Ka mate ka mate, ka ora ka ora

(I die I die, I live I live)

(I die I die, I live I live)

Tenei te tangata puhuru huru

(This is the hairy man)

Nana nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra

(Who fetched the sun and caused it to shine again)

A upane, kaupane

(One upward step, another upward step)

A upane, kaupane, whiti te ra!

(An upward step, another, the sun shines!)

Haka is a generic Maori word meaning dance. Legend has it that the All Blacks' Haka, "Ka Mate", was composed in 1820 by the High Chief of Ngati Toa on the North Island, Te Rauparaha, as he fled from his enemies, the Ngati Tuwharetoa. He went to Te Wharerangi (a "hairy man") and asked for his protection. Te Wharerangi hid him in a kumara pit. Te Wharerangi's wife, Te Rangikoaea, sat over the entrance to mislead the pursuers because no man of any stature would place himself beneath the genitals of a woman. Hearing his enemies nearby, Te Rauparaha whispered "Ka Mate! ka mate!" (I die! I die!), but when Te Wharerangi indicated he had fled he said "Ka Ora! ka ora!" (I live! I live!). Ngati Tuwharetoa doubted the story - he again sighed "Ka mate! ka mate!" Finally his pursuers were convinced he was not there, hence: "Ka ora, ka ora! Tenei te tangata puhuru huru nana nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!" (I live! I live! For this is the hairy man who has fetched the sun and caused it to shine again!). The final two lines describe his ascent from the pit. Later in the courtyard of Te Wharerangi, Te Rauparaha first performed his haka - composed in hiding and later made famous by the All Blacks.

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