“Kiwi actor Manu Bennett was filmed performing a haka, naked, at a Romanian World Heritage site.
Bennett, 49, was in Bucharest for Comic Con when he travelled to the Sarmizegetusa Regia – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the ancient capital of Dacia.
The Instagram video, on May 30, shows Bennett running towards a circular temple among the ruins, the core of the Dacian defence system until Romans laid siege 2000 years ago, where he strips bare and performs a haka.“ — Stuff (www.stuff.co.nz)
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Traditionally Maori would perform haka & /or go into battle, naked. Haka is made up of two Maori words Ha (breath) & Ka (ignite) - to ignite your breath. There is a term called "noa" which refers to that which is not sacred & free of "tapu" the Maori term for sacred & only when completely free of noa could one become tapu. This feeling of creating the realm of tapu when you haka cannot be explained in modern Christian context as it belongs to ancient spiritual energy, where natures' forces held more religious significance. I performed the above haka at an ancient Viking settlement in the Westfjords of Iceland known as Dynjandi. Now only the footstones remain of this ancient settlement & of course this wonderful waterfall, whose energy surely enticed the Icelandic Vikings to occupy this space for centuries. I felt such a huge wave of energy & connection when allowing myself the fully commit to the haka & try to connect to the energy of the past. There is no cell phone to call these ancient times only a spiritual commitment to move past reality into the spiritual world. Clothes, jewellery & watches, or anything "noa" has a non tapu vibration & cannot be allowed when creating a "tapu" realm. Even speaking about it can reduce tapu but I hope my ancestors will support this korero (talk) with positive wairua (spiritual guidance & energy). I am fortunate that I have the haka in my cultural heritage for its very words inspire survival & connection with Ra the sun & Io the Supreme one. Please read my other recent posts about Io & Ra two words that connect Maori & Polynesians to Egypt (Ra) & Ancient Ionians (Io) My sincere support to all indigenous cultures, brown, black, white, red or yellow, whose identity, culture & religious practices have been stifled by other enforced cultures & religions for nought but man-made ruling power. We are not yet completely lost, as long as we breathe & lift up our tongues, then our past, our ancestors, will refill our spirits. To all, Kia Kaha! - a Maori term meaning Stay Strong! @natgeo @rotoruadailypost @nzherald
I am proud of my culture so I cannot hide that I am disappointed by media inaccuracies, scepticism & sensationalism that now surround my recent haka. As an actor attending many conventions around the world, I have enjoyed sharing the haka & Maori custom. However what has not been mentioned in the news is WHY I was at this monument on a remote mountain in Romania. As for the manner of this particular haka, cultural understanding of noa & tapu is necessary before passing judgement. I wish I knew Romanian language & interpreted the one restriction sign at the monument but this amazing location, high in the mountains, seemed void, if only spiritually, of restrictions. (I advise a visit) The current media portrayal completely missed cultural empathy & has created a slur, not only over my actions & the honorable Maori custom of haka but also the intended meaning of recognition for the indigenous Dacian people, whose society, culture & religion were erased from this planet during the Roman expansion circa 100AD. It was at Sarmizegetusa that Decebalus & the Dacian people suffered the indignity of massacres & being conquered. Maori understand this indignity as sadly do other indigenous peoples. We ALL share the shame. In this haka I acted alone, my haka was solitary, but I carried the wairua of my people, celebrating & mourning alike, the Dacian people. The only three tourists, who I passed as they were leaving the site, stopped & took a video. I had no intention to be observed let alone filmed. Perhaps its a catalyst for cultural understanding & debate. I sincerely take full responsibility for my actions & apologise to Romanian authorities for any offensiveness, mistakes & misinterpretations. Finally I'd like to share two Maori proverbs. “Aroha atu, aroha mai. Tatou i a tatou katoa. Hui e! Ta iki e!” Let us respect one another. Let us bind together. “Hurihia te aroaro ki te ra tukuna to atarangi kia taka ki muri i a koe!” Turn your face to the sun & the shadows will fall behind you. —@manubennett