The Circle of Life

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Remembrance of the Day: New Zealand High Schoolers Honor a Beloved Teacher with a Maori War Cry Dance

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Students in an all-boys New Zealand were stricken by the death of their teacher Dawson Tamatea July 26 and offered up a haka as a sign of respect in front of the approaching hearse.

The school's YouTube page credits their students with honoring the teacher.

The entire school performing the Haka during the arrival of Mr. Tamatea in the hearse. This was a very emotional and powerful performance. We are extremely proud of our boys' performance and we know that Mr Tamatea would be too.



The Manawatu Standard provided some context behind the emotive display.

The long-time Palmerston North Boys' High teacher died in his sleep, from what is understood to be natural causes, on Sunday night.

Boys' High rector David Bovey, who described Tamatea as a "top bloke", said he would be sorely missed and had left a hole in the school.

A man with "a lot of mana", Tamatea, 55, spent 30 years as a teacher at Boys' High, Bovey said.

Tamatea started working as a math and physical education teacher at the school in 1986.



A Haka is a traditional war cry dance of the New Zealand Maori people, but it can also be used to recognize achievements or to give respect.

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