The haka is conquering the world of battle-like sports it seems. Rugby teams from New Zealand and other pacific islands have performed war dances like the haka for a long time already. But now football teams from Hawaii and even Texas have also adopted the haka.
The first example is of Kahuku High School’s Red Raiders (Hawaii). The second example is from the University of Hawaii Warriors. It appears the small state of Hawaii is becoming strong in American football. Perhaps because of their adoption of the haka? The third example are Trinity College Trojans. An estimated 4,000 people of Tongan descent live in Trinity’s hometown of Euless, a small city near Dallas, Texas. The Tongan students were also inspired by the traditional All Blacks’ haka (Ka Mate), and got permission to also do it. The fourth example is by the Brigham Young Univeristy (BYU) Cougars, again in Hawaii.
An interesting observation is that it appears to matter a lot whether the players directly face the opposition during the haka (as is customary) or perform in front of the audience. Regarding the UH Warriors’ haka two incidents were reported with opposition players ‘being offended’ by the haka when they were looked straight in the eye. I think the correct interpretation is that they were challenged (not insulted) by the haka, that is why they do it originally. Now, if you watch the fifth movie closely you can see the UH Warriors turning during their haka to keep facing their Purdue opponents as they are fleeing elsewhere.
Other Hawaiian high shools are also reported to perform the haka. And I think I found several on YouTube, which are added to the playlist. The last one is from the Ko’olauloa Pewees (?) and is touching rather than intimidating, as I guess the boys are about 10 years old. I think the haka is in football to stay, and I can’t wait to see where it will go next.