[Ads-l] haka, hakas, Maori up, kapa haka (1989 or mid-twentieth century)

Benjamin Barrett mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 22 17:40:19 UTC 2016

Yesterday the The West Australian (http://yhoo.it/1TaEEMs) carried an article titled "Emotional haka at wedding reception takes internet by storm” (by Alexa Rae Johnson) that is spreading on the internet (video at http://bit.ly/1TdaDvz). The article includes the verbal idiom “Maori up” quoted from Benjamin Armstrong that sounds like it comes from “man up":

"Maori up brothers!! heres the footage of the haka from the Hettig brothers. Thank you so much for this. Mean Maori mean.” [verbatim]

About “haka,” the Oxford Dictionary site (http://bit.ly/1PJmgVI) says, “A Maori ceremonial war dance involving chanting, an imitation of which is performed by New Zealand rugby teams before a match.” The plural form is not noted.

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haka) provides a broader meaning, noting that, “… haka are also performed for various reasons: for welcoming distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals, and kapa haka performance groups are very common in schools.” It says the plural of the word is “haka.”

Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/haka) says the plural form can be “haka” or “hakas.”

The s-ful plural form can be easily found on the internet. Here is one citation:

Wales Online
"The difference between these two New Zealand hakas is brilliant”
by Ian Carbis
21 October 2015

The Oxford Dictionary website does not have “kapa haka,” which Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapa_haka) says means Maori performing arts. Citations can be found in Google Books in Maori dating to at the nineteenth century. The earliest citation I see in English is 1989, which appears to be from correspondence that took place between 1925 and 1950. 

Na to Hoa Aroha: From Your Dear Friend
by Sir Apirana Turupa Ngata, Peter Henry Buck

Unfortunately, there is no snippet view available on Google Books and the search page does not have a URL. (Is that because of my browser?) The citation from the search page is:

A point that to one seems significant is your statement of the young people ejecting the old experts from the kapa haka.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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