Point out four aspects of Maori culture portrayed in The Whale Rider and relate them to cultures of East Africa communities.The Novel
- Aspects of the Maori culture portrayed are belief in ancestors, relationship between humans and wildlife, gender, discrimination and attachment of places of birth / origin.
- The people of Whangara have a strong belief in their ancestor, Paikea who came riding on a whale. E.A. believe in legends who founded their communities e.g. Gikuyu and Mumbi.
- The Maori people believe that their lives and those of creatures are closely connected. If the whale lives, they live and vice versa. E.A. have animals they relate to as their ‘relatives, totems or clan symbols.
- Gender discriminations is blatant in the Whale Rider. Koro Apirana rejects her granddaughter, Kahu. In E.A., sons are regarded as the rightful heirs and inheritors of family line and property.
- Attachment of places of birth or origin is seen in the Whale Rider where Kahu’s umbilical cord in front of the meeting house. In E.A. there is also a desire by people to be buried on one’s ancestral grounds.
- Aspects of Maori culture are closely similar to those of E.A. communities(2mks)
Mark 4:4:4 = 12 marks
Language = 4 marks
How leadership is passed from generation to generation in Maori community.
It is customary for leadership of Maori people to pass from male descendant to the next.
The first born child of the heir apparent ought to be a boy for this lineage to progress.
- Porourangi’s siring of daughters in succession is viewed as ill-luck and that is the reason for koro Apirana’s anger, he says he does not want anything to do with the girl Kahu.
- This is dearly a patriarchal society that believes in the supremacy of boys over girls or men over women.
- He becomes disappointed when a girl is born and rejects her
- He is looking for a male heir to the chief truancy and will not settle for a girl.
- The birth of another girl-child to Porourangi with his new wife Ana, does not make things any better. Instead, koro Apirana becomes obsessed with looking for a boy to inherit the chieftaincy. He even begins to look into other royal families to get the chosen one.
- Leadership in Maori community is purely hereditary and the mantle is passed from the eldest son to the eldest son is disintegrating slowly when Kahu becomes the chosen one.
- Though there is resistance by koro Apirana that a girl (female) should not take over leadership and insists on getting a boy to inherit the chieftaincy, Kahu finally inherits the leadership of Maori community.
Body / content - 12 mks (3: 3: 3: 3)
Conclusion - 2 mks
Language - 4 mks
INTRODUCTION Most communities believe in the harmonious co-existence between the living and the departed between the humans and other creatures whom they are closely linked. In Witi Ihimaera’s novel, The Whale Rider this is quite evident.
Any other relevant introduction 2mks
- The spirit of the ancestor Kahutia Te Rangi – the Whale Rider lives in eh little girl / Kahu.
- The ancestors are able to communicate with whales and other animals.
- When the whales are stranded, they have to be sung to and talked to in order to move back to the sea.
- Every activity including fishing is preceded by a sacrifice to the gods.
- As some whales are dying, the other whales make mourning sounds like humans and he death of the ancient bull whale will mean the death of the whole community.
- While other people are butchering whales, some members of the community come up strongly to defend the whales because of their sacred origin.
From the above illustrations, we see that both the natural and supernatural co-exist / are in harmony.
Accept any other relevant conclusion.
Write a composition to support this statement basing your discussion on the novel,
OPTIONAL TEXT: WITI IHIMAERA: The Whale Rider
The society in the Whale rider is clearly a patriarchal one. It believes in the supremacy of boys over girls / men over women. When Kahu is born, her great grandfather is not excited that the child born is a girl. He keeps telling her that she is of no use to him. But she grows to prove herself true to her calling.
- From her childhood Kahu is marked and shows the potentials of a leader. This is not so with boys of her age. But there are few who cannot recognize this. Like her great grandfather Koro – who believed that the next chief must be male as has been the tradition.
- Kahu is a bright and capable child. She proves herself up to any task. She is willing to learn about her culture and steals herself to hear Maori lessons – traditionally meant for men /boys. Here she learns better than the boys do.
- Kahu excels at school in both academics and cultural events.
- She has talent and skill. She is capable of doing what no one else in this community can do; she speaks to the Whales – this makes her special even above male counterparts through Koro, her great grandfather can’t see this.
- The author believes that children, regardless of gender, should be mentored into leadership as leadership comes from both men and women and this fact ought to be accepted by all.
Governance systems which are under the control of men exist across the world. Cases of women rising to leadership are still few as women are still denied the opportunities to realize their full potential as human beings. Witi Ihimaera explores the idea that women can hold positions of responsibility and do it well.
- Society should accept women as equal in ordinary life and support them.
To compare is to pinpoint the similarities and to contrast is to identify the differences which exist between Koro Apirana and Nani flowers. (2marks)
i) They are both loyal to their family and tribe.
Koro Apirana goes to great lengths to protect and identify members of the tribe by starting school sessions to teach boys and men the Maori customs and language. He fiercely protects the age old tradition of only boysinheritng the mantle of leadership. He rejects Kahu, his great grandchild, because she is a girl.
Nani flowers love for Kahu is evident in the things she does to ensure that she remains among her people. She buries her birth cord in Whangara near the meeting house in the sight of the stature of Kahutia Te Rangi the founder of the tribe.
ii) They are both stubborn
Koro Apirana adamantly refuses to love Kahu because he prefers a boy child to inherit the chieftaincy from Porourangi. He does not allow her to participate in the lessons he gives the boys on the wisdom of the tribe. He even fails to recognize that Kahu is the chosen one because he is blinded by chauvinism.
Nani flowers also stubbornly refuses to let Koro Apirana have his way where Kahu is concerned. She does all she can to ensure that Kahu remains among her people. She cites her Muriwai lineage when Koro Apirana thinks she is stubborn and uncooperative.
iii) They are both loving
Nani Flowers loves Kahu right from the beginning without caring whether she is a girl. Koro Apirana however, loved her at the end of the story when it is no longer in doubt that she is the chosen one.
(i) Nani flowers is humorous and full of life while Koro Apirana is said to be grumpy. Nani’s threat to divorce Koro Apirana is comical because she does not carry out her threat. She chases after her husband when he goes out to sea to sulk and calls him endearing names as she does so.
- Koro Apirana, on the other hand goes not to sea to sulk whenever he feels angry. He also growls at Kahu whenever she shows up at the door of the meeting house.
- Koro Apirana is steeped in traditions and does not support the idea of girls taking up of leadership positions. He refuses to see Kahu as a possible leader of the tribe even when the signs are there.
It is evident that inherent similarities and dissimilarities exist between Nani Flowers and Koro Apirana (2marks)
Expect 2 well brought out similarities and 2 differences
Mark S: 3: 3 = 6marks
D: 3 : 3 = 6marks
Grammar = 4 marks
Write an essay that outlines how certain negative beliefs about women are discredited in the ‘The Whale Rider’ by Witi Ihimaera. (20 marks)
- Candidate should demonstrate general understanding of stereotypes.
- Link to the text.
- Allow any relevant introduction tied to the question and well explain.
- Women being kept away from the training on cultural ways which are considered sacred and for men. Kahu proves them wrong when she becomes interested in the Maori culture and is destined to lead her people.
- Women are not allowed to assume leadership positions in the community. The chieftaincy is passed on from the eldest son to the youngest son. Kahu shatters this belief for she is poised to become the leader of the community. Nani flower’s ancestor, Muriwai was one of the greatest women chiefs in her time whose blood, Nani believes, throbs in Kahu’s vein.
- When men fail to make the ancient bull whale return to sea, it is Kahu who comes to the aid of the community and saves it from perishing.
- Even Koro Apirana is desperately looking for a male heir to the seat of Porourangia girl emerges as the chosen one.
(4 well illustrated pts. 3mks @ - 12mks)
Conclusion – (2mks)
- Summary of the points illustrated in the body.
- Should be relevant and tied to the content grammar. (4mks)
Introduction – (2mks)
Body 3:3:3:3 – (2mks)
(Expect 4 well illustrated points)
Conclusion – (2mks)
(Marks should be tied to the points) – (4mks)
Total – (20mks)
- Nani Flowers is portrayed as a character who can not be put down under any circumstances. In a community that is patriarchal in nature, she opts to defend herself and other females in her household and society.- She goes out of her way to defend her great grandchild against Koro Apirana’sprejudice. She defends Porourangi’s decision to name her ‘Kahu’ despite it being a man’s name. She hits the narrator for overworking the girl and taking her to the moves. She also refuses to allow Koro Apirana to alienate the girl and encourages Kahu to pester him for attention. Despite her obvious disapproval of Koro Apirana’s mannerisms, she truly loves him and fondly calls him ‘Old Paka’.
- She is assertive, and independent minded as a wife and grandmother. She tells Koro Apirana occasionally that she will divorce him to marry Waari if he continues to annoy her. She pulls his boat back to the beach after he sulks after quarreling with her she insists on bringing back to the community. Kahu’s afterbirth and birth cord despite Koro Apirana’s opposition. She demands that women should be allowed to participate in meetings and saving the ancient bull whale.
- She is strong-willed and courageous. She says she belongs to the Muriwai people whose fierceness is legendary. Indeed Koro Apirana agrees with her and says her Muriwai’s blood is too strong thus it has led to the birth of a girl as an heir in the family. She defends the decision to name Porourangi’s child, Kahu and quarrels and challenges Koro Apirana on almost everything. It is said she is always stepping out of line.
- She is foresighted. She is able to notice the extraordinary abilities and qualities in Kahu. That’s why she buries her afterbirth and birth cord in front of the tribe’s meeting house. She encourages the girl to attend the men’s meetings by threatening Koro Apirana whenever he sends Kahu away. She notices that Kahu is no ordinary girl while she is retrieving the curved stone from the floor of the ocean. She also notices that the girl is communicating with the Dolphins and she bids her time waiting for the right signs of what is to come.
Should have a conclusion, the candidate should tie up his/her argument using a short paragraph.
(Use the format of making question 2 to mark this one).