Cover des Buches The Whale Rider (ISBN: 0152050167)darklittledancers avatar
Rezension zu The Whale Rider von Witi Ihimaera

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von darklittledancer vor 5 Jahren

Review

darklittledancers avatar
darklittledancervor 5 Jahren
When Kahu is born, her great-grandfather Koro, the chief of Ngati Konohi in Whangara on the North Island of New Zealand, is deeply disappointed that she is a girl. He was hoping for a male descendant to become the next chief.
Kahu grows up to be an inquisitive young girl that is loved by many except Koro, who always gives her the cold shoulder and doesn't recognize that this girl would be the perfect leader for his tribe.

The story, apart from the mystic subplot about a pod of whales, is told from Rawhiri's point of view. He is Kahu's uncle and one of her guardians. He is always in the room when Koro and his wife Nani have their arguments and when Nani shows that she fully understands Kahu's potential.

Unfortunately, The Whale Rider never really gripped me. That already started at the beginning with the overuse of Maori terms that weren't explained and went on with nothing really happening until the very end. There was one instance where Witi Ihimaera might have tried to create some tension by moving the story and our narrator Rawhiri to Australia and New Guinea but I don't think that this added to the plot. I was simply worried that Nani and Koro might pass away during his absence.

Nevertheless, Witi Ihimaera created a Young Adult novel that raises awareness for the situation of all the indigenous people who have to find a way to live in a modern world and not to lose their identities. I think that Maori culture isn't that different from ours 50-100 years ago. They have their customs, legends and rituals that they are trying to preserve.
The Whale Rider also shows that children often have a stronger connection to nature than most adults. They are capable of doing things we wouldn't believe them to be able to do if we only let them.
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