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Whale Rider

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Mary Wood

on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of Whale Rider

Whale Rider
A Film by Niki Caro
Based on the book by Witi Ihimaera

Maori Glossary
Te Reo Maori language
Kaumatua Elder
Rangatira Chief
Wharenui Meeting house
Tikanga Customs
Whakapapa Genealogy
Tapu Sacred
Waka Canoe
Haka Dance
Karanga Call
Karakia Prayer
Taiaha Fighting stick
Mau rakau Stick fighting
Moko Grandchild
Marae Meeting place

Maori- Indigenous people of New Zealand.

Maori Culture
Believed to have migrated from Polynesia in canoes

Have land rights and a treaty with the British, somewhat like the Native Americans have with the USA

Traditional welcome
Touch foreheads
Rub noses (as
opposed to a kiss or hand-shake)

Tattoos or “moko"
Cultural identification
Predominantly a male activity
Women restrict these tattoos to the chin, upper lip, and nostrils
Increasing in popularity to preserve the culture

The club was a main fighting weapon

Bulging eyes and tongue were meant to intimidate opponents.

Traditional Fighting
Stick Fight
Traditional Dance
Warrior "Haka" Dance
The figures in Maori carving, with very rare exceptions, are not religious, but secular. They do not represent idols, but rather renowned ancestors of the tribe.
Maori Art / Carvings
Wall Carving
Tree Carvings
The large carved meeting house (whare runanga) was usually named after an important ancestor and, in most parts of the country, was a symbol of that ancestor
Meeting House Carvings
New Zealand
Maori History
Maori believe the sperm whale holds spiritual significance
Teeth/ jawbones are given to Maori as guaranteed by the “Treaty of Waitangi”

Each Sperm Whale tooth is worth about $200

Poaching- $250,000 fine

Whales continued..
The word Paikea often refers to humpback whales, but was the name of an individual whale in the most famous Maori whale riding legend.
According to this legend, Paikea (the whale rider) assumed his name from this humpback whale which rescued him after his brother tried to drown him at sea.
Legend of Paikea
The whale later carried Paikea to the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, where he became the founder of the Ngāati Porou, a Māori tribe
Legend of Paikea
The film is set in Whangara, which is located on the east coast of New Zealand. It is present day.

Whale Rider Film
 Paikea (or Pai)- a young girl and the central character in the film.
The Characters
 Koro- Paikea's grandfather

 Porourangi- Pai's father
 Nanny Flowers- Paikea's grandmother

Rawiri- Pai's uncle
In a small New Zealand coastal village, Maori claim descent from Paikea, the Whale Rider. In every generation for more than one thousand years, a male heir born to the Chief succeeds to this title.
The time is now. The Chief's eldest son, Porourangi, fathers twins- a boy and a girl, but the boy and his mother die in childbirth. The surviving girl is called Pai.

Grief-stricken, Porourangi leaves Pai to be raised by her grandparents. Koro, her grandfather who is the chief, refused to acknowledge Pai as the inheritor of the tradition and claims she is of no use to him. But her grandmother, Flowers, sees more than a broken line, she sees a child in desperate need of love
The film is based on the book The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. Ihimaera was inspired to write the book in 1985 while living in an apartment in New York overlooking the Hudson River.
"I heard helicopters whirling around and the ships in the river using all their sirens-a whale had come up the Hudson River and was spouting, Ihimaera recalls. " It made me think of my home town, Whangara and the whale mythology of that area."

The casting director for the film saw ten thousand children from numerous schools before narrowing it down to twelve. Despite no previous acting experience, eleven-year-old Keisha was chosen from thousands of girls. The films director, Nicki Caro, says, “Keisha Castle-Hughes just shone. She’s the heart of our film and she’s a gift.”
Casting of Pai
Witi Ihimaera
Full transcript