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Wedding Party Performs Stunning, Tear-Inducing Haka

Oops, you just cried your face.
January 22, 2016, 6:52pm

B&A HAKA from Westone Productions on Vimeo.

Oh man, if your run-of-the-mill, pre-game All Blacks haka gives you chills, this is going to absolutely crack you in half. At a wedding in New Zealand, the bride and groom are treated to one of the most beautiful, emotional hakas that you could possibly concoct: a groomsmen and bridal party haka.

The haka is traditionally a war dance for the Māori people of New Zealand, but is commonly performed at funerals, events welcoming guests, and perhaps most famously as the way that the nearly invincible New Zealand national rugby team intimidates its opponents. The haka has become something of a complicated institution in New Zealand, as the dance's use as a national symbol has been perceived as an act of idealization, and a sort of cover-up for centuries of colonization and oppression against the Māori people.

You could argue that a wedding haka further complicates this dynamic, but if you just take it within the context of its intentions—a way of honoring the bride and groom—you can't help but be moved by it. The groom, Benjamin Armstrong released the video on his Facebook page, saying,

Maori up brothers!! heres the footage of the haka from the Hettig brothers. Thank you so much for this. Mean Maori mean.
Whakawhetai ki a koutou teina hoki e whakaatu ki a koe ki ahau tou aroha me te wairua, whakaatu puta noa io koutou haka

The bottom Māori text translates to, "Thank you brother show me your love and spirit, show throughout your meaning haka."

Incontestably, the best moment of the video is watching the bride and groom get into it. The bride, who is tearing up something fierce earlier in the video just lets it all out, in a wide-mouthed shout that smacks of a cathartic love.