Māori have been performing haka for hundreds of years, but when it was adopted by our country's biggest sporting exports, the All Blacks, it grew into a global phenomenon.
Ah, the monetization of culture strikes again.
While it's beautiful to see such a profoundly powerful and unique aspect of Māori culture broadcast to the world, such exposure can lead to some misguided attempts at recreation, expecially when one is uneducated on the significance of haka.
Seeing that haka has been incredibly important to the success of the All Blacks, other sporting teams have decided to adopt haka as well, but they don't always get it "right."
NFL team The New York Jets have recently posted a video on Twitter showing a number of their players performing what they believe is a reasonable rendition of Te Rauparaha's iconic "Ka Mate" (yes, the one the All Blacks do).
Defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi, who interestingly spent a couple years in Auckland on a Mormon mission earlier this decade, leads the haka during the teams practice.
Full credit to the players in regards to their intensity, however the execution is unfortunately lacking. In fact, it's probably a bit of a stretch to even call that a haka.
The video itself has had a mixed reception from fans, with some hoping the team continues with it for the rest of the season, where as many were left confused and unimpressed.
On one hand, you never want to shoot down people for trying, and it's awesome to see our culture in the spotlight! But on the other hand, it's better to do it right, and for the right reasons.
If the players truly wanted to uphold the mana of haka, more education on the deeper cultural significance of it is necessary. But it appears as though the players are just looking for a way to hype themselves up for a game, without much regard for accuracy or tradition.
What do you think? Did they get it right? Let us know in the comments.