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Haka War Chant highlights "What Caught My Eye" blog from Day 3 of KU football's fall camp

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A collection of photos of KU linebacker Samson Faifili, a high-energy, juco transfer who opened Saturday's practice with a spirited Haka War Chant.

A collection of photos of KU linebacker Samson Faifili, a high-energy, juco transfer who opened Saturday's practice with a spirited Haka War Chant. by Matt Tait

Day 3 of the KU football fall camp opened in a little different way than the first two, and, really, in a different way than any other perhaps in the entire history of KU football.

Instead of leading with music and stretching, KU coach Charlie Weis called the players together and questioned their intensity and readiness for practice on the first sunny day in what seems like years.

Instead of ripping them and calling out their heart, Weis asked juco newcomer Samson Faifili to step forward and help lift the vibe. Weis volunteered linebacker Prinz Kande to step up and be Faifili's assistant.

He must have known something, though, because the two linebackers put on one heck of a show.

It started with some heavy chanting and yelling and a lot of beating on shoulder pads. Remember, this was the first day they could wear shells (helmets and shoulder pads) to practice. Good thing, because these guys got their money's worth out of them just in the pre-practice routine.

It's hard to say exactly what language they were using to chant the words, but it turns out that the whole routine was what's known as a Haka War Chant. After some quick research, here's a brief explanation of the ritual that first gained popularity in New Zealand:

“War haka (peruperu) were originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition. Today, haka constitute an integral part of formal or official welcome ceremonies for distinguished visitors or foreign dignitaries, serving to impart a sense of the importance of the occasion.”

KU assistant Rod Jones, known himself for his intensity both now and during his playing days, said that was the first time he's heard of such a thing taking place at KU. Jones also said Faifili was so fired up to share the Haka with his teammates that he was even questioning whether Jones was ready and fired up enough himself.

I could go on and on about the Haka, which a surprising number of Faifili and Kande's teammates were able to join in on, but it seems like sharing the video would be the better way to go.

I couldn't get too close, so you'll have to enjoy it more for the sounds. But if you take notice in the final 5-10 seconds, you'll see Faifili (No. 51) on the right side of the frame going crazy as the team ran to stretching.

http://playvideo.co/5257cf88-e40c-4d65-aac0-afbb9b3436f8

Enjoy!

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