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the way back to the whale rider. I'm not a prophet, but I know that our people will keep going forward, all together, with all of their strength.

Words used in Whale Rider

Haka War dance

KarangaCall

MokoGrandchild

PowhiriWelcome ceremony

RangatiraChief

TapuSacred

Te ReoMaori language

TikangaCustoms

WakaCanoe

WhakapapaGenealogy

WharenuiMeeting House

Whale Rider Questions:

1.What is the Maori myth of the whale-rider and why is it important?

2.Consider Koro’s two sons in the film.  What happens to the older brother early in the film?  How does he personify what it is to lack tradition?  What happens to the younger brother throughout the film?  What do you think he personifies?  How and why does he change? Why haven’t either of Koro’s sons taken over leadership of the tribe?

3.Much of the film involves the different relationships between members of families (parents and children, husbands and wives, grandparents and grandchildren). Pay attention to each of the relationships in the film; especially the relationship between Pai and Koro. What are the sources of tension?  How does the relationship change?

4.The idea of tradition is a central theme in this film.  Pay attention to how it is described and represented. What is the value of tradition for the Maori? Why is tradition so important to Koro?

5.Analyze Pai’s character. Why is her tradition so important to her?  What special gifts does she have? Pay attention to her school performance. Why is it so important?

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