A haka is a traditional Maori dance. Maori haka are performed for various reasons, such as celebrating an achievement, welcoming distinguished guests, or as a pre-battle challenge. Contrary to popular belief, a haka is not always a war dance, and may be performed by both men and women.
The haka attained international fame as a result of the pre-game haka performed by New Zealand national sports teams, particularly the All Blacks rugby team.
The most well-known haka is Ka Mate, the ceremonial haka performed by the All Blacks. Ka Mate is thought to have been composed by Te Rauparaha, chief of the Ngati Toa tribe, in the early 1800s. The pre-match haka is a long-standing tradition of the All Blacks, dating back to 1884. The Ka Mate haka was first performed by the All Blacks in 1906 and was the predominant haka performed by the team for nearly a century. In 2005 the All Blacks introduced a new haka, Kapa o Pango, which was developed specifically for the team. The All Blacks now perform the two hakas interchangeably.
Below is a video of the All Blacks performing the Ka Mate haka at the 2015 Rugby World Cup:
Below is a video of the All Blacks performing the new Kapa o Pango haka at the 2011 Rugby World Cup: