Maori Haka Dance

New Zealands All Blacks Rugby team performing a Haka
All Blacks Rugby team performing Haka
The Haka is a type of traditional group dance originated by the Maori people of New Zealand. There are many different types of Hakas several of which are in the list below. Most Hakas involve vigorous movements and incorporates chants. This dance's origins date far back in Maori history and is an important part of these people's culture. Below you will find a list of interesting facts about the Haka including how it originated, when it is performed, and who performs the Haka.
Bone Art

Interesting Maori Haka Dance Facts

Bone Art

Maori Haka Dance Types

Whakatu Waewae

This Haka involves the warriors standing upright and stamping their feet. No weapons were utilized in this dance. This Haka was particularly performed by the Tuhoe people who traditionally lived on the eastern end of the North Island of New Zealand; a thickly forested area where Lake Waikaremoana is located.

Tutu Ngarahu

This Haka involved side to side jumping and was a precursor to battle. The performance involved the war party holding weapons.


This Haka was a true war dance traditionally performed while facing the enemy. Its purpose was to intimidate and demoralize the enemy. The war party held weapons during the performance. This dance features unified leaps.


The purpose of this Haka was to motivate warriors; to "summon up the blood". This dance was very expressive with no defined moves. The warriors would express their emotions and feelings through their performance.

Manawa wera

Mainly associated with death and funerals this Haka involved no weapons. The dancers had freedom of expression in the moves which were not choreographed.

Ka Mate

New Zealand's international rugby team the All Blacks have made this Haka famous by performing it at their games. This Haka was created by a Maori chief and war leader named Te Rauparaha. It is a ceremonial Haka he created to celebrate his escape from enemy warriors who were chasing him. The Haka starts with a chant beginning with "Will I die, Will I die, Will I live, Will I live".