The Maori tribe owns the intellectual property rights to the haka, made famous by New Zealand’s rugby union team, the All Blacks. The latter asked the anti-vaccine demonstrators a few days ago to stop carrying out their ritual during their rallies.
Indeed, the Ka Mate haka was widely reproduced during the various demonstrations against sanitary measures, recalls West France.
What is the Ka Mate?
The Maori haka has many forms, but the Ka Mate, performed by the All Blacks before each match for over a century, is the best known.
It was composed by the warlord of the Ngati Toa tribe, Te Rauparaha, around 1820 after he escaped from an enemy tribe who was pursuing him.
The tribe wants to protect its “taonga”
The Ngati Toa tribe said in a statement condemning “the use of the Ka Mate haka to highlight and promote anti-Covid-19 vaccination messages.” She added to insist “that the demonstrators immediately stop using our taonga (cultural treasure)”.
Ngati Toa Chief Executive Helmut Modlik also clearly posted a pro-vaccine line: “The Covid-19 vaccine is the best protection we have.” Many of our tupuna (ancestors) have lost their lives in previous pandemics, ”he recalled.
His tribe had previously denounced commercial uses of the haka ritual, as well as satirical or disrespectful versions.