Maori Battalion haka in Egypt, 1941

Māori of 'C' Company, 28th Māori Battalion of the 2nd New Zealand Division 'Haka' (Ancestral War Dance) for the visit of King George II of Greece, his wife the Queen, their cousin Prince Peter and Major General Freiburg We do. The location was at an army training camp in Helwan, Egypt.

The battalion fought during the Greek, North African and Italian campaigns, during which it earned a formidable reputation as a fighting force, which was later acknowledged by both Allied and German commanders. After several confrontations with them, Erwin Rommel remarked: "Give me the Maori battalion and I will conquer the world".

The Māori battalion was divided into five companies: four rifle companies of about 125 men and a headquarters (HQ) company of about 200 men. Each company was commanded by a chief or captain.

The battalion's four rifle companies (named A, B, C and D) were organized along tribal lines, while the headquarters company drew its personnel from all over the maoridom.

The main body of the Māori battalion left New Zealand in May 1940 as part of the 2nd Echelon of the 2NZEF. Groups of new recruits were regularly sent from New Zealand to maintain their strength throughout the war, especially when heavy losses had been suffered.

In all, about 3,600 men served overseas with the Māori battalion between 1940 and 1945. Of these, 649 died in action or died in active service – more than 10% of the 6,068 New Zealanders who lost their lives while serving with the 2NZEF in the middle. East and Europe.

In addition, 1,712 people were wounded and 237 were prisoners of war. In the words of Lieutenant-General Bernard Freiberg, who commanded the 2nd NZ Division: "No infantry battalion had a more distinctive record, or saw more fighting, or, alas, such heavy casualties as a Māori battalion." Had happened".

This sacrifice did not go unnoticed. The unit was the most decorated for individual bravery of all New Zealand forces. The people of New Zealand welcomed these volunteers home, and continued to honor them by maintaining their legacy with monuments and vigils.

The performance is Māori traditional haka. Haka is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge of the Maori people of New Zealand. It is an asana dance performed by a group, characterized by vigorous movement and rhythmic accompaniment of feet stamped with shouts. Haka is performed for a variety of reasons: for entertainment, as a warm welcome to distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions, or funerals.

War Haka was originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and skill to intimidate the opposition.

Various actions are employed during the performance, including facial bulges such as showing the whites of the eyes and sticking out the tongue, and a variety of vigorous physical movements such as slapping hands against the body and stamping feet. . Also a variety of crying and grunting are used along with spoken words.

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