A German insurance company has sparked outrage among Maori communities for the “inappropriate” use of the haka in its advertisement.
The thousand-year-old traditional war dance was shown in the video being performed in the streets by hundreds of actors stomping, shouting, hissing, and beating on their chest – which, according to some viewers, was culturally misappropriated to sell insurance.
ARAG insurance company responded to the backlash, admitting that while the ad’s choreography was inspired by the haka, the company was respecting the tradition and had worked with a haka specialist to make it, New Zealand Herald
In a nine.com.au report, the insurer was accused of using “bits and pieces of indigenous culture to suit your needs without paying a true tribute to the origins of the people.”
Some critics claimed that the “offensive” ad was a “rip-off” that was designed to “cash in” on the German’s love of New Zealand.
“This is so offensive,” wrote one critic, while another said: “Another cheap rip-off of our culture for some unrelated product.”
In response to the criticism, a company representative said: “With its rhythm, impressive gestures and facial expressions, the haka is ideally suited to bring our messages across.”
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