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Kardashians are slammed for ‘cultural appropriation and disrespect’ for Māori haka

The Kardashian family has been accused of cultural appropriation yet again.

On Sunday, Kourtney Kardashian’s ex-husband Scott Disick shared footage to TikTok of his daughter Penelope performing a Māori war dance alongside Kim Kardashian’s children Saint and North, and two other youngsters.

Many New Zealanders characterised the depiction of the ceremonial haka dance as ‘wildly inappropriate’, ‘disrespectful’ and ‘insulting’.

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Controversial: The Kardashians have been accused of cultural appropriation, after three of the family’s children plus two friends performed a haka dance on TikTok over the weekend

The Kardashian children and their friends performed their own rendition of Ka Mate, a Māori haka composed by Te Rauparaha, a war leader of the Ngāti Toa tribe of the North Island of New Zealand.

The All Blacks rugby union team has performed Ka Mate at games for years.

Standing on a staircase, the five youngsters performed the sacred dance and also correctly pronounced the words to accompany the war cry.

Scott, who has 24 million followers on TikTok, shared the clip alongside the caption: ‘TikTok ya don’t stop. Ain’t got nothing on us!’ 

'TikTok ya don't stop': On Sunday, Kourtney Kardashian's ex-husband Scott Disick shared footage to TikTok of his daughter Penelope performing the Ka Mate haka alongside Kim Kardashian's children Saint and North, and two other youngsters

‘TikTok ya don’t stop’: On Sunday, Kourtney Kardashian’s ex-husband Scott Disick shared footage to TikTok of his daughter Penelope performing the Ka Mate haka alongside Kim Kardashian’s children Saint and North, and two other youngsters

'That feels wildly inappropriate': Some fans were not comfortable with the traditional and culturally significant dance being used for TikTok content

‘That feels wildly inappropriate’: Some fans were not comfortable with the traditional and culturally significant dance being used for TikTok content

WHAT IS CULTURAL APPROPRIATION? 

Cultural appropriation in its simplest form is when someone adopts something from a culture that doesn’t belong to them. This could be a hairstyle or a way of speaking.

The Everyday Feminism website says: ‘Unlike cultural exchange, in which there is a mutual interchange, appropriation refers to a “particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.”‘

Some fans were not comfortable with the traditional and culturally significant dance being used for TikTok content.

‘Thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse?The Kardashians think the haka is a Tik Tok dance,’ one critic tweeted. 

‘My heritage better not be a damned TikTok dance challenge. I don’t care that they’ve learned the real words rather than making up their own, this is sacred. STOP APPROPRIATING CULTURES,’ another raged.

A third wrote on Twitter: ‘Gurl shut up, it’s appropriating culture and the Kardashians are infamous for it.’ 

‘Why the f**k are the Kardashian West-Disick kids doing a haka on Scott’s story? That feels wildly inappropriate?’ another asked.

Several fans were confused by the fact the Kardashians, an American family of Armenian descent, would think to perform a traditional New Zealand dance.

‘Why did I just see a video of the Kardashian kids doing the haka? What is going on,’ one asked.

However, many Kiwis were impressed by the children’s attempt at the haka, which seemed to be well-rehearsed.

 

'My heritage is not a TikTok challenge': Fans were confused by the fact the Kardashians, an American family of Armenian descent, would think to perform a traditional New Zealand dance

‘My heritage is not a TikTok challenge’: Fans were confused by the fact the Kardashians, an American family of Armenian descent, would think to perform a traditional New Zealand dance

'That is ignorance and ignorance is problematic': ManyTwitter users said the Kardashians were 'infamous' for cultural appropriation

‘That is ignorance and ignorance is problematic’: ManyTwitter users said the Kardashians were ‘infamous’ for cultural appropriation

Poll

Was the Kardashian’s TikTok dance of the haka cultural appropriation?

However, some Māori leaders have defended the Kardashians and think their video might help positively promote the culture globally.

‘On the one hand, it’s a great thing. On the other hand, I would love to have a conversation with them about what the haka means and what motivated them to do it,’ Māori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki told Star News. 

‘It has to be done with true intent. It’s not just something that’s good for Instagram or social media,’ Tukaki added for clarification. 

 

'They are aware of culture and appreciating it': Some Twitter users insisted it felt 'more like appreciation in this context' as the children were not poking fun at the war cry or dance

‘They are aware of culture and appreciating it’: Some Twitter users insisted it felt ‘more like appreciation in this context’ as the children were not poking fun at the war cry or dance

In agreement with Tukaki, some Twitter users insisted it felt ‘more like appreciation in this context’ as the children were not poking fun at the war cry or dance.

‘They pronounced most of the words better than half the people I know do,’ one fan claimed.

Others said they were only children enjoying themselves, and should not be subject to such debate.

‘Very cute, but very random,’ another said of the puzzling upload.

Not new to controversy: The Kardashian family have been accused of cultural appropriation a countless amount of times over their long history in the spotlight. Pictured: Kim Kardashian and Kanye Weest with children North and Saint

Not new to controversy: The Kardashian family have been accused of cultural appropriation a countless amount of times over their long history in the spotlight. Pictured: Kim Kardashian and Kanye Weest with children North and Saint

The Kardahians are yet to issue an official comment on the backlash.

While the family have no known ancestral ties to New Zealand, Khloé recently confirmed a big Kiwi business move.

In October, Khloé was revealed as the new global spokesperson for New Zealand-founded collagen brand Dose & Co.   

The 36-year-old reality TV star explained to People two months ago that Dose & Co helped her health after she welcomed her daughter True Thompson in 2018.

While the Kardashian family have no known ancestral ties to New Zealand, Khloé recently became the global spokesperson for New Zealand-founded collagen brand Dose & Co. Pictured: Kim Kardashian West, Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner in 2019

While the Kardashian family have no known ancestral ties to New Zealand, Khloé recently became the global spokesperson for New Zealand-founded collagen brand Dose & Co. Pictured: Kim Kardashian West, Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner in 2019


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