Dane Ngahuka grew up in a village known for traditional Maori ceremonies and performers. His Whakapapa (the Maori tradition of genealogy) extends back before the Treaty of Waitanga (1840) when the Maori homeland became a British colony. Oral tradition traces the origins of the Maori to ancient migrations of seafaring people who voyaged thousands of miles across the South Pacific to make their homes in Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud, today known as New Zealand.
A Las Vegas resident, Dane performs and teaches Maori songs and dances, explains their meanings and cultural significance, and shares the history and language of the Maori. In this film, he introduces Kapa Haka – the Maori term used to refer to the traditional Maori performing arts. Kapa Haka integrates singing, dancing, facial expressions, and other elements to tell stories. Each movements in a Maori dance has meaning. The modern haka is a familiar Maori dance form popularized by sports teams such as the Las Vegas Maori Rugby Team, who perform it before each game to challenge their opponents. This haka is designed to show confidence, display physical strength, promote team spirit, and intimidate the other team. This Nevada Story was created by Las Vegas storyteller Karla Huntsman and film maker Sean M. Carter.