Courage & Commitment, Kia Kaha, Kia Maia

The RAKE- haka and waiata comp

Posted on June 2, 2017 in Hurungaterangi 4 - Stephanie Chand

We learnt how to use The RAKE and we used it to reflect on last term’s haka and waiata competition. Together we came up with lots of ideas to examine and analyse this awesome experience in depth.

The RAKE Haka and Waiata Comp

The firm stem of the feathers scraping against our skulls, flaking away the skin. The squish of the cool, damp slightly spongey gym floor. The warm, stale breath on your back as soon as you settle down. The sharp sting in our hands as we heartily applaud the opposing performers. We feel the nimble flick of others hair as we go to line up; the hard slap of hand against arm. The below- zero facepaint and the touching of other peoples elbows as we wait to begin. I touch the pressure in the air- I’m pretty sure everyone else could too.

Old, musty sweat from generations past and present. Sweat running down the boys cheeks making a pit of stinky sweat. The sweet aroma of both teacher and students perfume. The heavy musk of men’s cologne and revoltingly strong smell of putrid body sprays. Sweaty kids training until they get it right. The smell of freedom, freedom from practicing the haka and waiata. The smell of feet linger in the air. The delicious wafting of hot chips and chicken tenders try to distract us from our performance.

The crisp, fresh air seeping into the gym. The saltiness of sweat being carried through the air. The disturbing dryness as we wait for our turn. The taste of sweet, sweet victory. The taste of fresh air as the gym doors open. The taste of dry nothing as I carry on singing, and the wet taste of fear. I taste blood at the end- a result of giving it our all. I taste hot air flowing down my throat. Saliva flows forth as I shout. Butterflies of nervousness fly up.

The almost silent foot steps of over 700 children and adults as they file into the gym silently. The hushed whispers between fellow teachers. The awkward silence as the next group moves to perform. The loud, raw cry of leader, Paretoroa and Lahaina, starting their groups off as they begin their performance. With every word it gets louder and louder- words we instinctively understand. Loud voices screaming in our heads, the noise of clapping throughout our performance. Other students chattering away, waiting for their performance.

I was starting to get nervous as we scooted closer to the front of the wall. The tension and the pressure to do well raising like a fog over children’s shoulders. The excited fidgeting of both students and teachers alike. Maori instincts kicking in, it’s in our blood. The ground shaking from 150 students jumping which is sending vibrations through my body. Deep inside I feel aggressive, but also happy and proud. I felt delight to learn that all our hard work had paid off. We stand tall- we are confident.

The thought of failure crosses our minds pushing us to do better than we thought was possible. The overconfidence clouds our vision. I keep telling myself not to mess up in front of everyone. I think to myself- ‘Oh, this is my favourite part’. I feel skuxx with my ta moko- I think I look like a warrior. I thought that all the hard work would go in vein if we don’t win. I think that everyone is enjoying this and wanting to perform. We think about the guitar, it sounds strong as it strums along with us.

A sea of brightly coloured feathers representing each house and their colour. Blocks of pale faces nervous and excited. Fierce pukanas staring back at the audience. I look at the millions of people staring straight at us, the looks of the judges observing us and the sea of speechless faces. Red, yellow, green, purple- looking around and seeing all the same uniform. Boys in green mokos going hard out during the haka, feathers litter the floor- accidentally fallen. Friends in the audience cheering you on. We see the whanau boards, huge and menacing, taunting us with our low points.

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