Sunday 23 October 2011

The tiki and the haka

I realise that rugby has nothing to do with design. However I am always fascinated by anything to do with folk art, culture and traditions. And in the wake of the All Black World Cup Victory, I thought it might be a good time to celebrate two things about Maori culture.

As a child at school, we did a project about the Hei-tiki which are supposed to be either memorials to ancestors or to represent the goddess of childbirth. They are worn as a pendant around the neck as seen below. Traditionally they are carved in this beautiful green stone.
The second thing which I find utterly mesmerising and which I think mimics the image on the hei-tiki is the haka. Oh what a display. The haka is a traditional warcry, dance or challenge and the All Blacks perform this before every rugby match they play as a way to try and intimidate the opposition and to formally lay down the challenge. After they won the final today, they performed another haka, which apparently is what the Maoris do for their families and tribe after a successful day in battle. I loved it. 

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