Why This Maori Wedding Dance Video Is Going Viral

For centuries, members of New Zealand's Maori community have performed the traditional Haka dance for everything from intimidating combatants on the battlefield to welcoming guests at ballroom receptions.

Now, one recent Haka at a very special occasion has caught the world's attention. A video from the Auckland wedding of Aaliyah and Benjamin Armstrong has gone viral — moving people across the globe with the touching and beautiful war dance.

Groomsmen and guests staged the surprise performance, puffing their cheeks, chanting, and stomping their feet.

“The Haka, it represented the love, the support to those who we’re close to,” the groom told the BBC.

The video shows bride Aaliyah breaking down in tears as she watches the dance unfold. But after her best friend joined, she decided to participate, too.

“It was very significant to me, and I think that’s one of the main reasons I jumped in, to show my love back to her,” she told the BBC.

Aaliyah said she was "blown away" by the dance — and the reception the video has had online.

"We really weren’t expecting this at all," she said. "If we did, I would have cried a little bit nicer."


Opener Photo: Courtesy of Westone Productions.

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