Monday, September 28, 2015

Arizona football team's Maori haka war dance draws Kiwis disdain (VIDEO)

After the University of Arizona football team performed the haka war dance made famous by New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team before Saturday's game against UCLA, some natives of the country down-under are claiming the American team's use of the ritual is disrespectful and insulting to its indigenous people.

Video of the Wildcats' use of the intense pre-game stomp-and-chant has attracted a lot of attention online, but some critics have slammed the team for insulting the tradition of New Zealand's Maori.

The intimidating war dance, characterized by synchronized, threatening gestures and rhythmic yells, the haka has long been performed by the New Zealand rugby team — the All Blacks — before they play a match.

Here's ASU's version:

The Wildcats and other American teams have occasionally performed their own version of the renowned '"Ka Mate" haka for years and believe their performances are a fitting tribute to the warrior tribe. But, according to the New Zealand Herald, many Kiwis see the American version as a dig at their culture and nothing more than a comical pre-game floor show.

Here's the real deal in action:

And while Arizona's less intense rendition was okay, the team might want to work on their fierceness. They got blown out by the Bruins 56-23.

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