‘Cute but fearless warrior’: Toddler performs adorable version of the traditional Maori haka war dance
- Rugby player Sean Wainui did the haka with his eight-month-old son Kawariki
- The 24-year-old performs the Maori war dance while his happy baby joins in
- New Zealand rugby star Dan Carter shared the video on social media yesterday
The adorable moment a toddler attempts to perform the traditional Maori haka has been shared online.
The video, uploaded to TikTok this week, shows the wobbly youngster slapping his arms to the side as a voice off camera chants the words in the Maori language.
The toddler, who appears to have recently learned to stand by himself, occasionally looks at the camera before letting out a fearsome warcry.
‘When you grow up learning the haka,’ TikTok user focuswithdan captioned the video.
The video, shared to TikTok this week, shows the wobbly youngter slapping his arms to the side as a voice off camera chants the words in the Maori language
The video has been viewed by more than 1million people on TikTok in just a few days, liked by more than 130,000 and received over 3,200 comments.
‘This makes me very happy,’ one person said.
‘The facial expressions and all … already powerful,’ another said.
‘As an Australian I know this is supposed to make me intimidated but it’s pretty cute,’ a third person said.
‘Cute but fearless warrior,’ agreed a fourth.
The traditional dance originates from Maori culture as a way to rile up the performers before heading into battle.
The fearsome display has become an icon in the sporting world, being performed before every All-Blacks rugby match.
‘When you grow up learning the haka,’ TikTok user focuswithdan captioned the video
The Maori All Stars league team (pictured) performing the haka in February 2020 on the Gold Coast
The practice has spread across the Tasman with the Australian Indigenous All-Stars team also performing a war dance before February’s game (pictured)
Calls were made in 2019 to drop the performance from the New Zealand team’s international games but thankfully did not gain any traction.
The practice has even made it’s way across the Tasman with the Indigenous Australian rugby league team performing their own traditional dance before the All-Stars game.
New Zealanders seem to start the tradition young with an All-Blacks player sharing a similar video of his baby son learning the moves in July this year.
In that video shared by New Zealand ruby star Dan Carter yesterday, eight-month-old Kawariki joins in with his father, rugby player Sean Wainui, 24.
Kawariki squealed with delight as his father chanted and stamped his feet in the traditional Maori ceremony.
In a video shared by New Zealand ruby star Dan Carter yesterday, eight-month-old Kawariki joins in with his father, rugby player Sean Wainui, 24, in the dance
In the video, Mr Wainui starts the chant while his smiling baby standing on the sofa beams up at him.
Kawariki starts to slap his arms to the side, mimicking his father while he chants the traditional Maori words ‘ka mate’.
Mr Wainui continues to chant and stomp his feet, walking towards the baby who slaps his hands to his side in time.
For the last verse, Mr Wainui takes his son’s hands and moves them in time with the chant before the child lets out an excited giggle as the dance finishes.
Kawariki starts to slap his arms to the side, mimicking his father while he chants the traditional Maori words ‘ka mate’
Mr Wainui takes his son’s hands and moves them in time with the chant before the child lets out an excited giggle as the dance finishes
The video was shared yesterday by All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter (pictured), 38, who holds the record for the most points held in test match rugby
The video was shared by rugby legend Dan Carter who it made his day. People on social media showed their appreciation for the baby’s moves
Originally filmed in January, the video was shared yesterday by All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter , 38, who holds the record for the most points held in test match rugby.
He said: ‘Don’t know how I missed this. This made my day. Teach them young.’
Mr Wainui captioned the video originally shared on Instagram: ‘Haka practice. Happy eight months boy.’
Performing the haka at rugby games began with the 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team tour and has been carried on by the All Blacks since 1905.
Samoa, Tonga and Fiji also perform a haka before their international rugby games.
Why the haka is performed
The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace.
Haka are a fierce display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity.
Actions include violent foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant.
The words of a haka often poetically describe ancestors and events in the tribe’s history.
Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion. This includes family events, like birthdays and weddings.