The film’s plot follows the story of Paikea Apirana (“Pai”)[In the book, her name is Kahu, short for Kahutia Te Rangi], a 12-year-old girl who is the only living child in the line of the tribe’s chiefly succession following the death of her twin brother and mother when she was born. By tradition, the leader should be the first-born son a direct patrilineal descendant of Paikea, aka Kahutia Te Rangi in the book, the Whale Rider he who rode on top of a whale from Hawaiki.
However, Pai is female and technically cannot inherit the leadership.
Pai’s koro, Apirana, or Old Paka as his wife Nanny Flowers calls him, the leader of the tribe, is initially angry at losing his grandson and being left with a “worthless” female. While he does later form an affectionate bond with his granddaughter, carrying her to school every day on his bicycle, he also resents her and blames her for many of the troubles facing the tribe.
At one point Paikea decides to leave with her father because her grandfather is mistreating her. However she finds that she cannot bear to leave the sea as the whale seems to be calling her back, tells her father to turn the car back and returns home.
Pai’s father refuses to assume traditional leadership; instead he moves to Germany to pursue a career as an artist. Pai herself is interested in the leadership, learning traditional songs and dances, but is given little encouragement by her grandfather. Pai feels that she can become the leader, although there’s no precedent for a woman to do so, and is determined to succeed. Koro decides to form a cultural school for the village boys, hoping to find a new leader. He teaches the boys to use a taiaha (fighting stick). This is traditionally reserved for males.
However, Nanny tells Pai that her second son, Pai’s uncle, had won a taiaha tournament in his youth while he was still slim, so Pai secretly learns from him. She also secretly follows Koro’s lessons. One of the students, Hemi, is also sympathetic towards her, but Koro is enraged when he finds out, particularly when she wins her taiaha fight against Hemi. Koro’s relationship with Pai erodes further when none of the boys succeed at the traditional task of recovering the rei puta (whale tooth) that he threw into the ocean this mission would prove one of them worthy of becoming leader.
Pai, in an attempt to bridge the rift that has formed, invites Koro to be her guest of honour at a concert of Mori chants that her school is putting on. Unknown to all, she had won an inter-school speech contest with a touching dedication to Koro and the traditions of the village. However, Koro was late, and as he was walking to the school, he notices that numerous right whales are beached near Pai’s home. The entire village attempts to coax and drag them back into the water, but all efforts prove unsuccessful; even a tractor doesn’t help because the rope breaks. Koro sees it as a sign of his failure and despairs further.
He admonishes Pai against touching the largest whale because “she has done enough damage” with her presumption. Also, the largest whale traditionally belongs to the legendary Paikea. But when Koro walks away, she climbs onto the back of the largest whale and coaxes it to re-enter the ocean. The whale leads the entire pod back into the sea; Paikea nearly drowns in the process. When she goes out to sea, Nanny Flowers shows Koro the whale tooth which Pai had previously recovered. When Pai is found and brought to the hospital, Koro declares her the leader and asks her forgiveness.
The film ends with the village, including Pai’s father, uncle, and grandparents, celebrating her status as leader, as the finished waka is hauled into the sea for its maiden voyage. Most heroes are big strong men, or mythical creatures that have thousands of stories and tales written about them. This hero is an unlikely one, a small girl, from a small tribe, in a small village in New Zealand. Paikea is a small girl that is 13 years old, and is a direct descendant of Paikea, the original whale rider. On her journey to become the leader of the tribe, she comes across numerous amounts of challenges from her grandfather, Koro.
In the Paikea tribe, only the first-born son should be the leader of the tribe, which proves difficult for Paikea, since she is a female. Her journey begins when she does not even know anything about becoming leader; she is living a normal life, doing her school work and living with her grandparents. At school, she is the most interested in Paikea culture and origins, unlike the other boys. Eventually, her birthfather, Porourangi, comes back and describes his current situation in life; how he lives in Germany and has a great life with a new woman, who is pregnant. This upsets Paikea’s grandfather who out of nger says that he does not need Paikea, and that she is just a hassle. She leaves with her father, but on their way to the airport, she suddenly decides to turn around and return to her grandparents, for she cannot leave them. When she returns, her grandfather acts as if nothing has happened, and focuses more on the task at hand, finding somebody to lead the tribe. Her father refuses leadership, and returns to Germany, but Paikea is interested, even though she is a female and it goes against all tradition. Her grandfather, who is her Herald in a way, condemns her for issues within the tribe.
Eventually, he begins teaching classes that teach the young boys how to act like true tribesmen. Paikea is interested, but she cannot join since she is a girl. Instead, she spies on them and does everything the class does, except by herself. She rises to her grandfather’s disapproval and even… Whale Rider tells the story of Pai, who faces the subtle resentment of her grandfather Koro as he attempts to re-establish the old traditions of their ancestors. This novel unfolds the history of the Maori Tribe that by tradition the new chief would be the first born son directly descended from their ancient ancestor Paikea.
Koro attempts to discover their new leader through a cultural reform school solely for the first-born sons of every family. However, Koro fails to notice that Pai, although an eleven year old girl, is destined to be the new leader. The validity of Woolf’s claims is seen through Pai’s actions and outlooks where her androgynous mind and “woman-manly” characteristic allows for the full spectrum of being human; having both male and… The Whale Rider Together with Yavaraj Athur Raghuvir I watched the movie called The Whale Rider which deals with the issue of cultural restrains both as an individual and as a society.
The story takes place in New Zealand where the Maori people of a small village claim descent from the Whale Rider, Paikea. By tradition the heir to the leadership of the Maori tribe has to be the first born son- a direct patrilineal descendant of Paikea. The Maori people faces a crisis as the current leader’s firstborn grandchild, a baby boy dies at birth while the second born twin, a baby girl survives. The girl grows up being certain of her calling to be the next tribe leader. MAIN CHARACTERS: Pai: 12 year old girl who is the only living child in the line of the tribe’s chiefly succession Koro: Pai’s grandfather and current tribe leader
Nanny Flowers: Pai’s grandmother Porourangi: Pai’s father Rawiri: Pai’s uncle 1. WHAT “ISM” DID U SEE ILLUSTRATED SEXISM: stereotypical gender roles Women: makes food: Koro utters “Women setup dinner” are not to smoke: a child says: “Women should not smoke” has to sit in the back: Koro tells Pai to move from the front row to the back row when they have a meeting in Marae Men: are fighters: boys are traditionally taught to use the taiaha fix things: Koro is not pleased when Pai can fix the motor for the boat boys do not cry: Pai finds Hemi crying and he gets upset and tells her to go away . WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF INTERNALIZED OPPRESSION Porourangi worked on building a Waka (canoe), a Maori cultural tradition, before the birth of his twins but due to his loss of wife and son, he stops and moves to Germany. Porourangi “refuses” to assume traditional leadership. He is acting out of distress when he moves to Germany to pursue a career as an artist, and he has learned that he can never live up to Koro’s expectations. Both are signs of internalized oppression. Hemi’s father also shows sign of beginning internalized..
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Analysis of the Whale Rider. (2016, Oct 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/analysis-of-the-whale-rider/