Story: Kapa Haka

Kapa haka costume, 2014

Kapa haka costume, 2014

Tamatea Arikinui, a kapa haka group from Ngāti Kahungunu, are seen at Hastings Sportsground during the 2014 Kahungunu regional competitions. The women (top) wear the classic performing costume of piupiu (flax skirt) and tāniko bodice. The leader, to the left, is also wearing a korowai (cloak). The men's haka team (bottom) wear an equivalent costume with a tāniko tātua (belt) above the piupiu. Tamatea Arikinui's costume reflects their tribal traditions – the tāniko patterns include a wave design representing the waters that carried the Tākitimu waka to New Zealand, and the whales on the bodices represent four female sperm whales that accompanied the canoe on the migration.

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How to cite this page:

Valance Smith, 'Kapa Haka - 20th-century innovations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 October 2021)

Story by Valance Smith, published 22 Oct 2014