In the Whale Rider, by Witi Ihimaera, the question arises of how does Koro miss all of the signs that Kahu is the one. I believe that Koro was temporarily blinded by the traditional ways, until tragedy struck the tribe, that males should lead the tribe and continue the community between humans and the whales. His blindness caused by the importance of tradition allowed all of the signs that his great-granddaughter, Kahu, was the one to continue the union between the tribe and the whales. Koro's stubborn ways continue the entire time until the end when tragedy strikes and the whales are trapping themselves on the beaches preparing for death.
The moment that Kahu was brought into the world and into Koro's family, the signs that she was the one to lead the tribe and continue to union with the whales, became evident. Immediately Kahu starts to show the signs that nearly everyone can see, except for the most important, her chiefly grandfather, Koro. The moment she is born, Koro becomes blinded by traditional ways, since Kahu is the eldest great-grandchild she is to continue the ways of leadership over the tribe. Although this is impossible for she is a girl and only men can continue the sacred ways. This moment is the starting point of Koro's blindness to Kahu's connection with the whales and the Whale Rider himself. The traditional ways show that men are more sacred to women now matter what, although throughout her life Kahu expresses the most prevalent strengths and knowledge that Koro is looking for in his replacement. She expresses these qualities during the classes in which Koro is trying to teach the men the traditions and hopefully find his replacement. She always finds a way into the meetings and expresses dear interest in what Koro has to say and what he is doing. It even gets to the point where Kahu accomplishes tasks which Koro has prepared to find is successor. The most important being that she finds the carved stone which he tossed in the water for the young men to dive in after, signifying that they have the power to replace him as chief. Kahu's accomplishments go unnoticed because she is female and the traditional ways are taught that males are the only sacred ones.
It takes a near death experience for Koro to realize that Kahu is the one who should replace him. The will and power that enabled her to save the mighty bull whale with the tattooed head, was finally seen by Koro when Kahu was washed up on the beach unconscious. By herself she was able save the mighty whale and rebuild the bond between the tribe and the whales. Koro finally realized she was the one after he witnessed her riding the whale and was told of all the signs and ways that she possessed to which he was blind before. His stubbornness and traditional mindset caused him to miss the obvious signs that she was the one and eventually opened his eyes to see that she was the band that was needed to replace the union between the tribe and the whales. The tragedy of all of the dying whales and the saving of the great bull whale proved to Koro that traditional ways are not always what is best for the union between his tribe and the whales.