The Maori tribe that holds the rights to the “Ka Mati” asked protesters today to stop performing the famous rituals during the demonstrations.
The Ngati Toa, a Maori or iwi tribe, is recognized by New Zealand law as the cultural guardian of the Ka Mate, which has played a key role in recent protests against coronavirus-related restrictions. “Nagati Tua condemns the use of Hakka Ka Mate to promote messages against vaccination against the Covid-19 virus,” the tribe, which is based outside Wellington, said in a statement. “We insist that protesters immediately stop using Taonga (our cultural treasure).”
Maori haka comes in many forms, but the Ka Mate, which the All Blacks have performed before rugby matches for over a century, is by far the most famous. The ritual of stamping your feet and rolling your eyes is firmly rooted in New Zealand culture and is often used at important 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 penalties for abuse.
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