"Maori Haka War Dance"

 

David Normal:

 

The Maori were one of the most formidable opponents of British colonial expansion in the 19th Century.  Their war dance, "Haka" was a display of the physical prowess and the collective coordination of the warriors.  The entire army seemed to show one mind as arms, legs, eyeballs, tongues, fingers and toes all moved in a fiercely unified battle frenzy.  Add to this black market Enfield Musketoons  (the same firearms used by the British themselves) and a talent for marksmanship to match the dancing and here was a fearsome opponent indeed.

 

Image taken from '[The Peoples of the World: being a popular description of the characteristics, condition, and customs of the human family ... Illustrated. (A new, much enlarged ... edition of The Races of Mankind.)]'.  Collection of the British Library.

View illustration on British Library's Flickr Photostream

 

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