For this week's Native Nerd column, I have to give overwhelming credit to Jason Momoa and the Māori people who brought the beautiful Haka dance to the world. I am awestruck.
Jason Momoa wowed the crowd on Wednesday night at the Aquaman movie premiere in Los Angeles. Momoa, who is Native Hawaiian gave props to his New Zealand Māori brothers who stood at his side in leading a traditional Haka dance. It didn't take long for Momoa's Haka Dance to go viral, and Aquaman is outdoing pre-sales of Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War.
The crowd cheered at first then became quiet and awestruck realizing that Momoa was not just being overzealous, but paying true attention to the culture of the Māori.
The traditional Māori Haka or war dance is a display of courage by warriors who who strike their own bodies in rhythm as well as contort their faces in intimidation to their opponents.
Haka, according to those that use it, it is about building an energy force and getting the adrenaline to run high. It is an expression of honesty and love. The stomping is an acknowledgement to the heartbeat while making a spiritual, emotional and physical connection.
One of the most famous contemporary incidents of the traditional Haka was by the New Zealand sports team the All Blacks.
Called by some to be the greatest Haka ever seen live, the video has racked up over 31 million views.
More information on the Haka here:
Follow fellow Native Nerd, Vincent Schilling associate editor for Indian Country Today at @VinceSchilling - Make sure to use the Hashtag #NativeNerd
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