Monday, June 2, 2014

Page 335--haka

I want to say my fellow Wakers were impressed by desire to share sports lore in reference to the Wake, but I think the better word would probably be 'flabbergasted' or 'dumbfounded'. Sports isn't really my particular métier. Nevertheless, when I learned from John P. Anderson's multivolume work on Joyce's Finnegans Wake: the Curse of Kabbalah that there was a haka coming up in the pages we were about to discuss, I was quite excited. I had learned about hakas from Adrian McKinty's excellent blog.They were and are Maori war chants, but have also have been incorporated into the opening of rugby games.

Here is an example of New Zealand's fearsome team the All Blacks doing one:

Now, it turns out that this very same team came to Paris in 1925 and were so formidable that they were nicknamed the Invincibles. A new haka called Ko Niu Tereni was written on the voyage over from New Zealand and this is what Joyce heard when he came to the Paris game.

Kia whakangawari au i a hauLet us prepare ourselves for the fray
I au-e! Hei!(The sound of being ready)
Ko Niu Tireni e haruru nei!The New Zealand storm is about to break
Au, Au, aue hā! Hei!(The sound of the imminent storm.)
Ko Niu Tireni e haruru nei!The New Zealand storm waxes fiercer
Au, Au, aue hā! Hei!(Sounds of The height of the storm.)
A ha-ha!
Ka tū te ihiihiWe shall stand fearless
Ka tū te wanawanaWe shall stand exalted in spirit
Ki runga ki te rangi,We shall climb to the heavens
E tū iho nei, tū iho nei, hī!We shall attain the zenith the utmost heights.
Au! Au! Au!

According to Wikipedia, there was a second verse, but as this had to do with friendship between teams, it was of course quickly scrapped.

Joyce understandably was intrigued by both the display of ferocity and the words and wanted to incorporate these into his book in some way. As luck would have it, he had a source in New Zealand, none other than his own sister, who had moved there when she became a nun. So he wrote her and asked her for the words and she apparently got a version out of the newspaper to him.

And so, eventually, the Wakian haka, the last part more hakian than the first (page 335):

Au! Au! Aue! Ha! Heish! ... how Holispolis went to Parkland with mabby and sammy and sonny and sissy and mop's varlet de shambles and all to find the right place for it by peep o'skirt or pipe a skirl when the hundt called a halt on the chivvychace of the ground sloper at that ligtning lovemaker's thender apeal till, between wandering weather and stable wind, vastelend hosteilend, neuziel and oltrigger some, Bullyclubber burgherly shut the rush in general.
Let us propel us for the frey of the fray! Us, us, beraddy!
Ko Niutirenis hauru leish! A lala! Ko Niutirenis haururu laleish! Ala lala! The Wullingthund sturm is breaking. The sound of maormaoring The Wellingthund sturm waxes fuercilier. The whackawhacks of the sturm. Katu te ihis ihis! Katu te wana wana! The strength of the rawshorn generand is known throughout the world. Let us say if we may what a weeny wukeleen can do.
Au! Au! Aue! Ha! Heish! A lala!

There is a good article on all this by Dean Parker of the New Zealand Herald HERE.

John P. Anderson also has some very interesting stuff on this, but maybe I'll make that another post.

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