Meaning of pukana in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpuːkənə/


New Zealand
  • A wild facial expression made by someone performing a haka.

    ‘he was doing a pukana at the camera’
    • ‘You find the whatero and pukana posturing highly amusing?’
    • ‘I can do a good pukana.’
    • ‘In mostly unsympathetic roles, the cast are excellent, and the fantastic dancers are vital: a rugby scrum becomes a bull; flamenco flourishes are matched with pukana eyes.’
    • ‘The faces contort into a myriad of expressions, pukana, tongues out, eyes screwed up, with hoots of laughter and playful shoving.’
    • ‘Add yourself to Wellington's story by showing us your best pukana and getting your photo taken at Mojo.’
    • ‘The first competition involves visitors giving their best pukana (haka face).’
    • ‘It even teaches the haka-ending facial "pukana" in which the eyes bulge and men stick out their tongues.’
    • ‘The best pukana photo will win an evening at Te Po - the Indigenous Evening Experience at Te Puia.’
    • ‘Three young Maori warriors sprung forth from inside the stadium, prancing, flashing their pukana (wild-eyed grimaces) and swinging their taiaha (long wooden clubs).’
    • ‘Like the Maori warrior whose spirit bursts forth in pukana, this is the body as a nexus between that outside the individual and that within.’


Early 20th century Maori.