White Czech dancers accused of “racism” and “cultural appropriation” after performing ceremonial haka with imitation Maori tattoos – as critics say it’s equivalent to “blackface “
- A group of women in the Czech Republic were filmed dancing to a Bollywood song
- Choreographer Jarmila Chromíková posted a clip on Instagram with #bollyhaka
- Responses accused the group of “blackface” and cultural appropriation
A group of white Czech dancers have been accused of racism and cultural appropriation after a video was released showing them performing a ceremonial haka with imitations of Maori tattoos painted on their faces.
The original footage was uploaded to Instagram by self-proclaimed Bollywood dancer and choreographer Jarmila Chromíková, who shared it with the caption: “When Girls Have Haka on the Hook” with hashtags including #bollyhaka, #facepainting, #dancefusion and #newzealandinspiration.
It was picked up by social media users, including Shaneel Lal, who denounced the behavior “dangerous” and “blatantly racist” in a post shared with 37,000 Instagram followers.
The sentiment was echoed by critics, including Maori cultural advisor Karaitiana Taiuru, who told the New Zealand Herald that the performance was the equivalent of a “blackface”.
A group of white Czech dancers have been accused of racism and cultural appropriation after a video was released showing them performing a ceremonial haka with imitations of Maori tattoos painted on their faces. Their photos were shared on Instagram by Shaneel Lal
A group of women (pictured) in the Czech Republic have been criticized for performing a Haka on a Bollywood song, while wearing black face paint
He said the video “represents an emerging trend in online caricature portraying Maori as wild, uneducated and aggressive people, disguised in humor in the same way that Black Face is / was for African Americans.”
“This is blatant racism that frankly affects all Maori and especially Maori who choose to revive our ancient customs of facial tattoos called Ta Moko (men) and Moko Kauae (women).”
Meanwhile, Shaneel shared a long caption on his Instagram account saying, “A group of white women got together and did the“ BOLLYHAKA. ”In other words, wearing the black face and doing the Haka on Bollywood songs.
“The absolute daring of these colonists. @jarmila_chromikova what kind of behavior is this? It is no longer innocent behavior – it is blatant racism. It’s dangerous.
“Sometimes they imitate cultural tattoos and other times they put the face black and call it ‘bad makeup’.
Self-proclaimed Bollywood dancer Jarmila Chromíková took to Instagram to share the images with hashtags including #bollyhaka, #facepainting, #dancefusion and #newzealandinspiration
Shaneel Lal, who has nearly 37,000 subscribers, accused the dancers of blackface and explained how it can reinforce negative stereotypes
“Blackface is part of a story of dehumanization, denial of citizenship, and efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have used Blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of his moral and legal justification for violence.
“It is time to stop with contemptuous arguments those who describe these offensive acts as jokes, ignorance and juvenile indiscretions.”
A flood of responses criticized the group, with one writing: “Dude, this is downright offensive! Where is your looking girls? Do you even know what these marks mean? Even all the dancing isn’t clean and it really looks like you all are trying to laugh.
Another said: “It’s disgusting! Focus on your own cultures before you start tampering with other people’s cultures’
A stream of responses to the thread accused the group of not doing their research before filming the performance
However, others argued that the video was insensitive to Maori culture, but said the dancers did not make faces black and did not intend to be racist.
One person wrote: “It’s bad as hell… but it’s not a blackface though… the makeup that’s been done on white women is what Polynesians do as a cultural practice. But yes, IT’S A NO NO ‘
Another said: “It is not the same as the black face, it is b ******* and should not be done, but it is not the same as the black face , that’s a whole different thing. “
A third added: “It’s face paint drawn in different styles, not blackface, just because you mark your face with black paint doesn’t mean it’s blackface.”
Others said the dancers did not wear black faces but still offend Maori culture