Members of one of New Zealand’s most prominent street gangs are among those who performed an emotional Maori ceremonial dance, in memory of the victims of Friday’s deadly mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques.
Standing near the cordon outside the Al Noor Mosque, members from the Black Power gang performed their tribute while surrounded by dozens of mourners, who gathered on Sunday to leave flowers and pay their respects to the victims.
Speaking ahead of the performance, the leader of the group said, “we are gathered here to express our love and sadness… this is all our community.”
Sunday’s vigil was one of several events that attracted thousands across the country. Over NZD$5 million (US$3.42 million) has been raised to support the families of the victims.
Made up of predominantly Maori and Polynesian members, Black Power is one of the biggest and oldest gangs in New Zealand. The haka is a ceremonial Maori dance made famous by New Zealand’s rugby team, who perform it before every game. Several versions of the dance exist for different occasions such as funerals, when welcoming distinguished guests, and honoring great achievements.
Black Power’s touching tribute was just one of several haka dances performed by mourners across New Zealand and Australia this weekend and shared on social media in honor of the victims.
An emotional Haka was performed on Saturday, March 16, outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, where 50 died in Friday’s attack on two of the city’s mosques. pic.twitter.com/zopO7dW6aF
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) March 16, 2019
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