Guests at a New Zealand wedding have brought the bride to tears with a powerful impromptu performance of the haka, a traditional Māori war dance originally performed by warriors before battle. A video of the passionate performance, in which the groom throws off his coat and joins in, is a spine-tingling display of human emotion and has, understandably, gone viral in just days.
In the clip, bride Aaliyah Armstrong and groom Benjamin Armstrong, of Auckland, New Zealand, stand by as a large group of family and friends perform a ferocious rendition of the traditional dance.
Aaliyah appears stunned and visibly overcome by emotion while Benjamin stands silently for a few moments before throwing off his coat and joining in. Aaliyah follows shortly after and it’s near impossible to remain unmoved by the group’s stunningly emotional performance.
The haka is traditionally performed by the Māori people of New Zealand, but it it such a core part of New Zealand’s culture that it is often performed by non-Maori New Zealanders. It’s characterised by vigorous movements, shouting, hissing, and rhythmic stamping of the feet and, though it looks fierce, as war dances are meant to, it can be an incredibly moving experience for both those performing it – and onlookers.
At the conclusion of the performance, friends and family embrace each other in an incredibly touching display of humanity.
The video was posted on Wednesday on the groom’s Facebook page and has been seen by more than 200,000 people.
Friends and family have left comments such as “the most outstanding haka that I’ve ever seen!” and “got the meanest goosebumps.”
We couldn’t agree more.Aaliyah Armstrong and her husband were moved by the emotional haka performed by guests at their wedding. Image: Aaliyah Armstrong