the haka as a hymn to Egyptian-Sun-God Ra


One of the things about reading lots of weird shit is you come across some weird shit.

Anyhow. Any New Zealander, and a good chunk of the world, will know the haka performed by the All Blacks: Ka Mate. It is variously claimed to attributed to Te Rauparaha, or as being much older, but one that he pulled out of his hat at a particular moment now enshrined in story.

The usual translation is something like;

Tis death! ‘tis death! (or: I may die) ’Tis life! ‘tis life! (or: I may live)

’Tis death! ‘tis death! ’Tis life! ‘tis life!

This is the hairy man

Who brought the sun and caused it to shine

A step upward, another step upward!

A step upward, another… the Sun shines!

(When I was a kid we had a tea towel with a haka translation on it, I remember more about he hairy man, and it seeming pretty weird as a thing for the All Blacks to sing.)

Anyway. So in something weird I was reading I came across a reference to the work of Professor Barry Fells, who ended up tracing lots of ancient language stuff, and more or less arguing that lots of Polynesian languages were descended from ancient Egyptian/Libyan dialects.

In his rendering of the haka via ancient linguisticky stuff, it would translate as:

It is fulfilled, it is fulfilled, Ra has risen, Ra has risen!

It is fulfilled, it is fulfilled, Ra has risen, Ra has risen!

This is the resurrection from the dead. Ascending, ascending,

From out of the abyss. Give light unto us. Cause the Sun to rise!

To rise up! To shine! Rise up, leap up O Ra!


Which just strikes me as way cooler.

I mean, seriously, the notion that everyone in this country knows by heart a hymn to an Egyptian sun-God, that rocks.

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(It works better as an invocation of Ra, doesn’t it?)

((Our rugby team has a six thousand year old sun god in our corner, fools. No wonder you don’t stand a chance.))

Fells’ work is not accepted in the mainstream AFAIK, and I haven’t read the original. Just noting it as an awesome orthagonal piece of weirdness.

2 Responses to “the haka as a hymn to Egyptian-Sun-God Ra”

  1.   Bruce
    June 20th, 2012 | 11:26 pm

    so awesome

  2.   billy
    June 21st, 2012 | 5:19 pm

    yay! glad someone gets it.