Jason Momoa led the cast of Aquaman through a Haka dance on the red carpet. Momoa is refreshingly excited about his role as Arthur Curry in his first standalone movie and he isn't afraid to admit it. The actor is having a blast hosting Saturday Night Live and promoting the movie that he made with James Wan, enjoying his time in the spotlight. The 39-year old Hawaii native started the night by stalking the carpet with his trident in hand, which didn't last long.
The red carpet was turned blue for the Aquaman premiere and Jason Momoa paid tribute to the water in his moment in the spotlight. He started with a chant with his trident in his hand, and then he smashed it as he proudly shouted the Maori chant. Momoa then led some of the cast and his children, ages 9 and 11, through the Haka dance, which included a number of different postures and gestures. The crowd went crazy and enjoyed what is usually a pretty stuffy affair of the stars walking the carpet and answering questions.
The Haka that Jason Momoa led is called the "Ka Mate," which was written by Te Rauparaha, who was a Maori war leader. The ceremonial dance was created after he escaped his enemies. Momoa talked about the dance, and noted that it has a special meaning for him, equating it to honoring his heritage and the sea. He explains.
"It's just a respect to the god of water. It's a very intimate dance about where we find our mana from our ancestors, our mind, our body, our spirit, from our heart."
A haka is a ceremonial dance in Maori culture that can be used to celebrate or to challenge. The ceremonial dance has also been used to welcome notable guests and to put a focus on achievement, which makes the premiere of Aquaman a pretty good place to perform one. There has been some backlash on social media from people who claim that doing the dance in a public space is disrespectful. However, it has been popularized across the world by the New Zealand rugby team the All Blacks, who often perform the dance before their matches, which means that they are out in public.
Whatever the case may be, Jason Momoa is not trying to be offensive or start controversy. He is simply celebrating an achievement, which is one of the ways that the Haka dance can be used. He is incredibly proud of the movie that he created and is sharing a part of his world with the rest of the world. The blue carpet event for Aquaman has since gone viral, allowing people to see the Haka who may have never seen it before, which is pretty cool. You can watch Momoa lead some of the Aquaman cast through the ceremonial dance below, thanks to the Fandango Instagram account.