Monday, September 13, 2010

Persistence mends all

Witi Ihimaera’s The Wale Rider begins by introducing the Maori history to give the

reader a better understanding of the tribal traditions that have shaped living standards up to the

time of the novel. Ihimaera vividly depicts the story of a tribe who finds itself far from the

ancestral tradition established centuries ago. The tale, however told through the eyes of a young

male narrator named Rawiri, center’s itself around his adolescent niece, Kahu; who with her

unwavering persistence and love overcomes all odds to restore the Whangara tribe back to the

ways of it past.

Obsticles confronted Kahu from the day of her birth. Even her very name, taken from a

sacred ancient ancestor of her tribe, brought her much opposition from the very beginning of her

existence. The Patriarch of both here tribal society, as well as her family, did not show her even

the smallest bit of love or support along her journey. During one of the male education periods

Kahu was spotted eavesdropping, and Koro livid with anger, immediately stopped, shouting,

“‘Get away from here!’...Grimly, Koro Apirana walked up to her, took her by the arms, and

virtually hurled her out. ‘Go. Get away from here.’” (52) Still Kahu’s undying affection and love

shown brightly for the whole family, especially Koro who showed the least signs of attention.

For this reason she strived even harder to prove herself. When times of crisis set in, and

two hundred whales became beached on shore, Kahu knew her time to flourish was near. All it

took was an opportunity to finally be recognized and called forward to save the whale marked

with the spiritually sacred sign of their ancestors. Kahu seized her chance and was finally

accepted for mending the relationship between her people and the whales; and in doing so

through relentless persistence and love mended the relationship between her and her grandfather.

No comments:

Post a Comment