The Whale Rider MOBI ó The Whale MOBI :æ

Eight year old Kahu a member of the Maori tribe of Whangara New Zealand fights to prove her love her leadership and her destiny Her people claim descent from Kahutia Te Rangi the legendary ‘whale rider’ In every generation since Kahutia a male heir has inherited the title of chief But now there is no male heir and the aging chief is desperate to find a successor Kahu is his only great grandchild—and Maori tradition has no use for a girl But when hundreds of whales beach themselves and threaten the future of the Maori tribe Kahu will do anything to save them—even the impossible


10 thoughts on “The Whale Rider

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    I read Whale Rider not even three years ago and fell in love with this tale I got this book for my youngest daughter to read but she wasn’t interested at least not yet and I could not resist a reread As my lead in to International Women’s Month I returned to the story of Kahu of Whengara New Zealand I have been fascinated by whales from the time I was a young child and saw a blue whale skeleton at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History This one event precipitated a lifelong love of whales and dolphins and all marine mammal life I have been fortunate to go on two whale watches in my life but I have never gotten up close to these majestic creatures With the year winding down and finding myself in need of an author whose last name starts with the letter I to finish an A Z author challenge I recently came across the novella Whale Rider by Maori writer Witi Ihimaera Gaining international acclaim from the movie based on this book Ihimaera takes his readers on a mythical journey through contemporary Maori cultureThe Maori people originally came from the sea The ancestor of the current people named Kahutia Te Rangi was able to converse with whales and the two species maintained a symbiotic relationship that balanced all creatures of the earth Legend has it that an ancient whale named Paikea launched spears from the sea that landed all over the world and these were responsible for the creation of the birds animals and ancient Maori people The current Maori lead by Koro Apirana and his grandson Porourangi still hold by these ancient traditions and believe that in the current climate with whalers killing the kings of the ocean for sport the balance holding the future of the earth together is doomed They seek a leader for the next generation of their people a male heir who is the reincarnation of the original whale rider Kahutia Te Rangi who is able to converse with the gentle giants of the sea and restore balance to the earthThere may be a leader right before their eyes although Koro Apirana holds strongly to his traditions and does not realize that the future may hinge on his great granddaughter Porourangi's daughter Kahu named for the tribe's ancestor Kahutia Te Rangi who could speak to whales While Koro believes that only a male heir can save his people his wife Nanny Flowers attempts to foster a loving relationship between Kahu and her Paka grandfather A strong willed woman who is descended from a female dominated tribe Nanny Flowers believes that women can do anything that a man can and so if given the chance Both Nanny Flowers and Rawiri Porourangi's brother witness how special Kahu may be from an early age yet their attempts to get Koro Apirana to acknowledge this are fruitless As a result the chieftain conducts a tribal wide search to find a boy who will lead future generations of Maori peopleIhimaera notes that he wrote this book for his two daughters who one day asked him why only boys play the role of heroes in movies whereas girls are cast as the role of damsel in distress He was living in New York at the time and this traditional tale came to mind when a whale was stranded in the Hudson River and needed to be rescued The character Kahutia was thus born Kahu as an eight year old realizes that her people are suffering and is determined to become well versed in her culture cultivating a one sided loving relationship with Koro Apirana and winning countless awards at her cultural school More importantly she can talk to whales and dolphins if only her Paka Koro would see this Kahu's role in saving the Maori comes to a head with the appearance of an ancient whale on the Whengara beach who is said to be Paikea and only a true whale rider is able to save both the whale and human races While these scenes were moving and emotional in printed form they were mesmerizing on big screen as the whale rider goes out to sea to converse and swim with the majestic creatures of the deep Ihimaera has created a wonderful gift for girls all over the world in creating a girl heroine who is proactive and not crying out for boy heroes to save her With his determination to leave this gift for his daughters Ihimaera has created a gem in Kahu and in Nanny Flowers who encourages her every on every step of her journeyThe writing of Witi Ihimaera reminds me of Louise Erdrich on the other side of the world He has written countless novels novellas and short story collections about the Maori culture and is considered the Maori writer best known today Part of his exposure is from the acclaim of the film version of Whale Rider which lead many to read this gem of a book Even though I was lead to the writing of Ihimaera in order to complete a challenge I have a feeling that I will be reading of his work His writing is soothing as he talks about the special balance that Maori maintain with the earth and sea although in my eyes I doubt any tale could top the story of a girl who can converse and swim with whales5 stars