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Te Matatini -The Evolution of Kapa Haka


Earlier this year in February at the Waiohika vineyards and farm in Gisborne, an event was held that attracted more than 50,000 people over four days. There was laughter, tears, rain, political commentary, recounts of the Christchurch September quake, remembrance of soldiers fallen, rain, family feuds exposed, historical accounts of migration, and more rain.

The fact that you needed a good pair of gumboots didn’t keep people away from what is the biggest Kapa Haka competition in the world. Te Matatini o Te Ra 2011 attracted record crowds, regardless of the weather. Sunday, the day of the fi nals, had the worst weather, but still attracted 11,000 people through the gates by lunchtime. This appeal has seen the biennial Festival evolve from a small community event in 1972 to a full-scale ‘Olympics’ of Kapa Haka attracting international media, performers and spectators from all over New Zealand, Canada, Hawai’i, Asia and Western Australia.

Kapa Haka (kapa = group, haka = in lines) is Ma - ori traditional performance: a combination of dance, song, body actions, rhythm, and harmony that tells a story – historical or contemporary – in a precisely choreographed manner. It is high-energy entertainment, requiring years of rehearsal and fitness training.


Read the full article (Iss. 24)Te Matatini - The Evolution of Kapa Haka

Other DANZ related DANZ Magazine articles

Kaumatua Kapa Haka, Dancing Through the Ages - by Tanemahuta Gray

Kapa Haka's Rich and Developing Cultural Fabric - by Piripi Sciascia

Haka Theatre - by Gaylene Sciascia

Also read Te Matatini's Benefits of Kapa Haka

Te Matatini site

Te Matatini - The Evolution of Kapa Haka

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