Sunday, September 13, 2015

Influence of the Maori

Blessed to go to school in Hawaii I was surrounded by the cultures of the Pacific and Asia. I learned much from all of them but one stuck with me more than the others and that was the people of Aotearoa. The Maori people. Not just because of the sweet New Zealand accent everyone else loves but because of the haka.

What most know of the haka is what they have seen from rugby which they do pre-game to invoke fear in the other team.

Totally works too. But this isn't the only reason for haka. 

The first purpose of the haka was to provide strength for war and invoke fear in the opposition. Other more uplifting reasons are for special occasions, funerals, weddings, and calls to attention. Learning from a fantastic leader at the Polynesian Cultural Center, a true Maori, was one of the most spiritual experiences I had while in college. It's amazing feeling the passion of the poetry when you scream the words of gospel truth. The spiritual sensation when you slap your chest internalizing the testimony in motion. There's nothing like it. 

This haka was written by Matua Seamus and it's purpose is to call the young men and women of the church to action. To step up to the higher plain of living and leaving the world behind. There are temptations that plague this world and though we live in it, we aren't of it. The gospel light and truth will lead us to happiness in this life and salvation in the life to come. It ain't gonna be easy, but it never was for the greatest who lived before us either. It's based off of the legend of the kahawai, a fish in the New Zealand waters. They call it the dumb fish because it would go after any lure, even if there was no bait it would still bite the hook. Anyone who's been fishing knows that once you get a hook in the fishes mouth, it's work to get it out. The temptations of this world are the hook and we are the kahawai. So many of us will see something sparkly and just eat it up! Once we've been caught up in sin it's so hard to get it out. Sinful habits and addictions are all too common now-a-days. But we can beat them! I know that the Savior will fight for us and with us if we are willing to rip that hook out, he will heal us. 

Each line that follows is the translation in English from Maori. Read through it and try to match the words with some of the actions as you watch from the link below. Matua once said "In haka, words without passionate actions are like a bird with no wings." You must understand what you do as you do and say it or it will mean nothing to you or those who witness it. Witness a call to rise up! Defy temptation! Mate Ururoa! 

(If you want to skip ahead Haka begins at 5:33)


To all the daughters of God
To the young stripling warriors of today
Don’t be deceived

Many years ago
Our people fished with Pa-Kahawai

The Kahawai would seize the lure
Mistaking it for food
It would lose it’s life

Today we’re surrounded by them 

They entice 
As to ensnare us 
If grasped
It is hard to Let go – so avoid them!
Constantly before us
is the sin of Immorality – 

It is a Pa Kahawai 
Lust a is one of the deadly sins
Why are our principles decaying? 
Chastity & virtue are precious

Is is a Pa Kahawai
People are like a thieves in the night
Jumping and scattering
Hiding and Locking the door
Like slaves hiding in the darkness
Hiding from your children
And your companions
That’s a load of rubbish!
Pornography is like a flood of Sewage
Desensitizes the Spirits of mankind 
It Erodes the Conscience & the light of Christ 

Alcohol/Kava and Drug abuse 
Is a Pa-kahawai
You alow it into your home
The cause of Separating our Families
The cause of Shattered dreams
Today it is Destroying the mana of our youth
Yet we echo the korero
Ka minamina au ki te 
waipiro ta hokona i te po – kss ana kss ana Hi

I aha ha . . . 

The Final one 
Is Anger/Rage
It is a Pa Kahawai
It leads to Abuse of Women
It is the cause behind the Beating our Children
Families are being destroyed
Spirits are being Crushed
And Divorce is rampant as a result
Alas these pä-kahawai
Are on our Marae
Alas these pä-kahawai
Are weakening our spirits
Alas these pä-kahawai
Are everywhere - BUT
You have the power to resist them!
Let us not Die like the Kahawai
But Die like a Shark (Fighting)
Die True like a Maori


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