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The centrality of the haka within All Black rugby tradition is not a recent development. Since the original "All Black" team of "New Zealand Natives" led by Joseph Warbrick the haka has been closely associated with New Zealand rugby. Its mystique has evolved along with the fierce determination, commitment and high level skill which has been the hallmark of New Zealand's National game.

The haka adds a unique component, derived from the indigenous Maori of New Zealand, and which aligns with the wider Polynesian cultures of the Pacific.

The All Blacks perform the haka with precision and intensity which underpin the All Black approach.
The "Ka Mate" haka generally opens with a set of five preparatory instructions shouted by the leader, before the whole team joins in:

 

 

"Ka Mate"

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Leader: Ringa pakia! Slap the hands against the thighs!

Uma tiraha! Puff out the chest.

Turi whatia! Bend the knees!

Hope whai ake! Let the hip follow!

Waewae takahia kia kino! Stomp the feet as hard as you can!

Leader: Ka mate, ka mate I die, I die,

Team: Ka ora' Ka ora' I live, I live,

Leader: Ka mate, ka mate I die, I die,

Team: Ka ora' Ka ora' I live, I live,

All: Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru This is the hairy man

Nāna i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā ...Who caused the sun to shine again for me

A Upane! Ka Upane! Up the ladder, Up the ladder

Upane Kaupane" Up to the top

Whiti te rā,! The sun shines!

Hī! Rise!