In New Zealand, the Maori tribe that owns the rights to the “Ka Mate” haka has ordered no-vax protesters to stop performing the famous ritual during their demonstrations. Ngati Toa, a tribe or iwi in Maori, is recognized by New Zealand law as the cultural guardian of the “Ka Mate”, which has played a leading role in recent protests against coronavirus-related restrictions. “Ngati Toa condemns the use of haka Ka Mate to promote messages against Covid-19 vaccination,” the tribe, based just outside Wellington, said in a statement. “We insist that protesters immediately stop using our taonga (cultural treasure).”
What is the haka
Maori haka comes in many forms, but the “Ka Mate”, composed in 1820 and which was performed by the All Blacks before rugby matches for more than a century, is by far the best known. The ritual of stamping your feet and rolling your eyes is firmly rooted in New Zealand culture and is often used at significant social events such as weddings or funerals. Parliament passed a law in 2014 recognizing Ngati Toa as the keeper of the haka, although the legislation does not provide for sanctions for abuse.