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‘The Whale Rider’
Chapters 10 – 20
Summary
Chapter 10
Kahu is 4 years old, when Rawiri decides it is time he leaves
Whangara. Nanny Flowers does not want him to go, ...
Jeff is from Mount Hagen, in Papua New Guinea. Rawiri and Jeff
flat together in Sydney for over a year.
Porourangi calls R...
Chapter 11
Rawiri spends two years in Papua New Guinea with Jeff and
Jeff‟s family. Jeff‟s mother, Clara, is unapologetica...
In many respects the parallels with the Maori in New Zealand were
very close. However, our journey was possibly more diffi...
Porourangi writes to his brother in Papua New Guinea to keep him
informed of the situation in Whangara. Koro Apirana is no...
Three events occur in Papua New Guinea which convince Rawiri
that he needs to return home. The first was a comment made by...
The second event comes via another letter from Porourangi. Ana
has given birth, and has had a girl. Koro Apirana is disapp...
Chapter 12
Rawiri returns to Whangara, and notices how much Kahu has grown. She
is no longer a baby, but a beautiful doe-e...
Kahu invites the whole family to the end of school concert. Everyone
attends except Koro Apirana, who was supposed to be K...
Chapter 13
Koro Apirana takes all the boys from the wananga out onto the
sea, where he throws a carved stone into the ocea...
Chapter 14
The whales have reached Antarctica, and are struggling to make their
way through the walls of ice. The herd are...
Chapter 15
Two hundred whales beach themselves along Wainui beach, not far from
Whangara. Koro Apirana is sure it is a sig...
Chapter 16
I will never forget the look on Kahu‟s face. She was gazing out to
sea and it was as if she was looking back in...
The ancient bull whale beaches itself at Whangara, waiting to die. Five
elderly female whales had separated from the herd ...
The men tie a rope around the whale‟s massive tail, and try to turn
the whale with a tractor, but the rope breaks. Koro Ap...
Chapter 17
Nobody saw her slip away and enter the water. Nobody knew until she
was halfway through the waves. (pg 122)
Kah...
Quietly, Kahu began to weep. She wept because she was frightened. She
wept because Paka would die if the whale died. She w...
Chapter 18
She was the whale rider. “I‟m not afraid to die,” she whispered to herself.
Tears were streaming down Nanny Flo...
Chapter 19
The herd of whales dive down into the ocean. Kahu is still clinging to
the back of the ancient bull whale, the ...
In her memory‟s eye the kai karanga saw Paikea himself and he was
flinging small spears seaward and landward. (pg 136)
And...
Chapters 20 and 21
Nanny Flowers wakes up in the hospital, with Koro Apirana beside
her. She despairs that her Kahu is los...
Kahu tells her great-grandparents that they sound just like the kai
karanga and the koroua (the ancient whales) arguing.
S...
Chapters 10 till end summary
Chapters 10 till end summary
Chapters 10 till end summary
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  1. 1. ‘The Whale Rider’ Chapters 10 – 20 Summary
  2. 2. Chapter 10 Kahu is 4 years old, when Rawiri decides it is time he leaves Whangara. Nanny Flowers does not want him to go, but she accepts his decision after making him promise to return to Whangara. Unlike Kahu, my pito couldn‟t have been put in the ground at Whangara because I didn‟t return there until four years later. (pg 62) Rawiri goes to Australia, and when he first arrives in Sydney he stays with his cousin. After a while he begins flatting with a friend of his, and he starts playing League. It is through League that he meets Jeff.
  3. 3. Jeff is from Mount Hagen, in Papua New Guinea. Rawiri and Jeff flat together in Sydney for over a year. Porourangi calls Rawiri to tell him that he and Ana are getting married, and Kahu is going to be the flower girl. Kahu is now five, and has started school. She is currently still living with Rehua‟s (her mother‟s) parents. Not long after this, Jeff gets a phone call from his parents in Papua New Guinea. His father is struggling to run the plantation on his own. “I‟ll have to go,” said Jeff. I knew he was reluctant to do so. Indeed, one of the reasons why he had come to Sydney was that it was as far from his family as he could get. He loved them deeply, but sometimes love becomes a power game between the ambitions that parents have for their children and the ambitions that children have for themselves. (pg 66) Jeff asks Rawiri to come with him to Papua New Guinea, and Rawiri accepts, despite the fact that he had been thinking of going home to Whangara.
  4. 4. Chapter 11 Rawiri spends two years in Papua New Guinea with Jeff and Jeff‟s family. Jeff‟s mother, Clara, is unapologetically racist. Although Jeff had told her that I was Maori it was obvious that I was still too dark. As soon as I stepped off the plane I could almost hear her wondering, „Oh my goodness, how am I going to explain this to the women at the Bridge Club?‟ (pg 68) Tom, Jeff‟s father, is another story entirely. Rawiri likes him from the start. Because Tom has Parkinson‟s disease, Jeff runs the plantation and Rawiri works on the plantation to get it back up and running. Rawiri marvels at the racial situation in Papua New Guinea. The government is trying to transplant national identity and customs into the country. He sees it as a similar situation to the Maori people in New Zealand.
  5. 5. In many respects the parallels with the Maori in New Zealand were very close. However, our journey was possibly more difficult because it had to be undertaken within Pakeha terms of acceptability. So it was in Australia and Papua New Guinea I grew into an understanding of myself as a Maori, and, I guess, was being prepared for my date with destiny. Whether it had anything to do with Kahu‟s destiny, I don‟t know, but just as I was maturing in my own understanding she too was moving closer and closer to the point where she was in the right place, at the right time, with the right understanding to accomplish the task which had been assigned to her. In this respect there was no doubt in my mind that she had always been the right person. (pg 70)
  6. 6. Porourangi writes to his brother in Papua New Guinea to keep him informed of the situation in Whangara. Koro Apirana is now running a second series of classes for the people of Whangara. While Koro Apirana has accepted that Porourangi is „the one‟ in the current generation, he is still looking for „the one‟ in the up-and-coming generation. “He wants to find a young boy,” Pourourangi jested, “to pull the sword out of the stone, someone who has been marked by the Gods for the task. Nobody has so far been able to satisfy him.” He also writes to say that Kahu, who is now 6, is returning to live with him and Ana. His next letter arrives with the news that Ana is pregnant, and the whole family is hoping that the baby will be a boy.
  7. 7. Three events occur in Papua New Guinea which convince Rawiri that he needs to return home. The first was a comment made by Clara. Clara made is perfectly obvious that she was embarrassed by my presence and I was saddened to hear her say to another guest, “He‟s a friend of Jeff‟s. You know our Jeff, always bringing home dogs and strays. But at least he‟s not a native.” Jeff runs over a native as they are all coming home from a party. Rawiri cannot understand why Clara, Jeff and Tom all have the opinion that it doesn‟t matter because the man was a native. To Rawiri, a cous is a cous. “I don‟t blame you,” I said to Jeff. “You can‟t help being who you are.” But all I could think was the waste of a young man who had come one thousand years to his death on a moonlit road, the manner in which the earth must be mourning for one of its hopes and its sons in the new world, and the sadness that a friend I thought I had would so automatically react to the assumptions of his culture. And would I be next?
  8. 8. The second event comes via another letter from Porourangi. Ana has given birth, and has had a girl. Koro Apirana is disappointed and blames Nanny Flowers. Kahu is excited to have a baby sister. Rawiri decides to come home, and books his tickets to return to New Zealand. The third event had been a strange cloud formation I had seen a month before above the mountains. The clouds looked like a surging sea and through them from far away a dark shape was approaching, slowly plunging. As it came closer and closer I saw that it was a giant whale. On its head was a sacred sign, a gleaming moko.
  9. 9. Chapter 12 Rawiri returns to Whangara, and notices how much Kahu has grown. She is no longer a baby, but a beautiful doe-eyed girl with long legs and an infectious giggle. She has her hair in plaits and she is wearing a white dress and sandals. The family have a BBQ to welcome Rawiri home. I saw Koro Apirana rocking in his chair, back and forth. Back and forth. Kahu came up to him and put her hand in his. He pushed her away and she dissolved into the dark. The guitars played on. (pg 80) Suddenly Kahu arrived, dawdling from the opposite direction. She looked disconsolate and sad. Then she saw Koro Apirana. Her face lit up and she ran to him, crying “Paka! Oh Paka!” He turned to her quickly. “Haere atu koe,” he said. “You are of no use to me.” Kahu stopped in her tracks. I thought she would cry, but she knitted her eyebrows and gave him a look of such frustration that I could almost hear her saying to herself, „You just wait, Paka, you just wait.‟ (pg 82)
  10. 10. Kahu invites the whole family to the end of school concert. Everyone attends except Koro Apirana, who was supposed to be Kahu‟s special guest. I could see that Kahu had realised that Koro Apirana was not going to arrive. The light kept dimming, gradually fading from her face, like a light bulb flickering. She looked as if she was feeling ashamed, and I loved her all the more for her vulnerability. (pg 86) The Headmaster then announces that one of the students won the East Coast speech competition, which had been given entirely in Maori. Kahu steps forward. The family knew nothing of her achievement. Kahu then begins her speech, which tells of her great love and respect for her great-grandfather, and how her main aim in life is to fulfil the wishes of her Koro Apirana and her tribe. Kahu put her face against Nanny Flowers‟ cheeks. Her voice was drained and defeated. “It‟s not Paka‟s fault, Nanny,” she said, “that I‟m a girl.” (pg 87)
  11. 11. Chapter 13 Koro Apirana takes all the boys from the wananga out onto the sea, where he throws a carved stone into the ocean. He tells the boys that one of them will bring it back to him. Though they try, none of the boys are able to get the stone from the depths of the ocean. Koro Apirana returns home and begins to cry. Kahu, knowing the reason her Paka is upset, goes out with Nanny Flowers and Rawiri to the place where the stone was thrown. She dives overboard and, with the help of dolphins, finds the stone and brings it back to the surface. As we got back to the beach, Nanny Flowers said again, “Not a word, Rawiri. Not a word about the stone or our Kahu.” She looked up at the statue of Paikea. “He‟s not ready yet,” she said. The sea seemed to be trembling with anticipation. (pg 92)
  12. 12. Chapter 14 The whales have reached Antarctica, and are struggling to make their way through the walls of ice. The herd are frightened because their leader, the ancient bull whale, is leading them towards the dangerous islands to the South. So long a part of their own whakapapa and legend, the golden rider could not be dislodged from their leader‟s thoughts. The last journey had begun and at the end of it Death was waiting. The whales swept swiftly through the southern seas. (pg 97)
  13. 13. Chapter 15 Two hundred whales beach themselves along Wainui beach, not far from Whangara. Koro Apirana is sure it is a sign to the Maori people. Though some of the locals seize the opportunity to butcher the whales before they are even dead, most of the locals work relentlessly to return the herd back to the sea. Their efforts are in vain, however, and all two hundred whales die. Though Rawiri and Nanny Flowers do their best to stop Kahu hearing about the whales, she finds out. I found Kahu way up on the bluff, calling out to sea. She was making that mewling sound and then cocking her head to listen for a reply. The sea was silent, eternal. (pg 106)
  14. 14. Chapter 16 I will never forget the look on Kahu‟s face. She was gazing out to sea and it was as if she was looking back into the past. It was a look of calm, or acceptance. All of a sudden there was a dull booming from beneath the water, like a giant door opening a thousand years ago. Then streaks of blue lightning came shooting out of the sea like missiles. I thought I saw something flying through the air, across the aeons, to plunge into the marae. A dark shadow began to ascend from the deep, and I saw it was a whale. Koro Apirana gave a tragic cry, for this was no ordinary beast. The sea was filled with whales and in their vanguard was their ancient battle-scarred leader. On the head of the whale was the sacred sign. A swirling moko.
  15. 15. The ancient bull whale beaches itself at Whangara, waiting to die. Five elderly female whales had separated from the herd to lie close to the bull whale and encourage him back to the sea, but he remains unmoving. Koro Apirana tells Nanny Flowers to keep all of the women back, as the work is tapu (sacred). He tells her to keep Kahu away, because she is useless to him. “You have all seen the whale,” Koro Apirana said. “You have all seen the sacred sign tattooed on its head. Is the moko there by accident or by design? Why did a whale of its appearance strand itself here and not at Wainui? Does it belong in the real world or the unreal world?” Koro Apirana put up his hand. “It is both. It is a reminder of the oneness which the world once had. It is the pito joining the past and present, reality and fantasy. It is both. It is both!” he thundered, “and if we have forgotten the communion then we have ceased to be Maori.” “The whale is a sign.” He began again. “It has stranded itself here. If we are able to return it to the sea, then that will be proof that the oneness is still with us. If we are not able to return it, then this is because we have become weak. If it lives, we live. If it dies, we die. Not only its salvation but ours is waiting out there.” (pg 116)
  16. 16. The men tie a rope around the whale‟s massive tail, and try to turn the whale with a tractor, but the rope breaks. Koro Apirana decides that it is time for the women to act as men, and they wade into the water to help the men. However, it does no good, and the whale cannot be moved. It is waiting to die. Kahu cannot understand what is going on. She asks her Paka. “Our tipua wants to die.” Koro Apirana said. “But why?” “There is no place for it here in this world. The people who once commanded it are no longer here.” He paused. “When it dies, we die. I die.” “No, Paka. And if it lives?” “Then we live also.”
  17. 17. Chapter 17 Nobody saw her slip away and enter the water. Nobody knew until she was halfway through the waves. (pg 122) Kahu, desperate to save the dying whale and her iwi, plunges into the water. She begins to talk and sing to the whale, telling him that she is Kahutia Te Rangi. The waves are crashing into her and she is choking on water. She begs the whale to help her. Cold and exhausted, Kahu noticed indentations appearing in the skin of the whale. She pulls herself up onto the whale. On shore, Nanny Flowers is sobbing for her grandchild, while Rawiri furiously battles the sea as he tries to make his way towards his niece.
  18. 18. Quietly, Kahu began to weep. She wept because she was frightened. She wept because Paka would die if the whale died. She wept because she was lonely. She wept because she loved her baby sister and her father and Ana. She wept because Nanny Flowers wouldn‟t have anyone to help her in the kumara patch. She wept because Koro Apirana didn‟t love her. And she also wept because she didn‟t know what dying was like. (pg 127) She was going, our Kahu. She was going into the deep ocean. I could hear her small piping voice in the darkness as she left us. She was going with the whales into the sea and rain. She was a small figure in a white dress, her braids swinging in the rain. Then she was gone, and we were left behind. (pg 128)
  19. 19. Chapter 18 She was the whale rider. “I‟m not afraid to die,” she whispered to herself. Tears were streaming down Nanny Flowers‟ face. She reached into her pockets for a handkerchief. Her fingers curled around a carved stone. She took it out and gave it to Koro Apirana. “Which of the boys?” He gasped in grief. “Which of the….” Nanny Flowers was pointing out to sea. Her face was filled with emotion as she cried out to Kahu. The old man understood. He raised his arms as if to claw down the sky upon him. (pg 131)
  20. 20. Chapter 19 The herd of whales dive down into the ocean. Kahu is still clinging to the back of the ancient bull whale, the koroua, the whale with the sacred sign. The whales see the young human on the back of their leader, and the kai karanga (ancient female) asks her leader why he is taking the tekoteko (statue) with them. He is certain that she is Paikea, his golden master, but he notices that she feels lighter than he expected. The kai karanga convinces the koroua that she is not Paikea, but an ancestor of Paikea. Understanding that his fate, and that of the small child on his back, are inexplicably intertwined, the koroua commands that the pod of whales return the child back to the world of man.
  21. 21. In her memory‟s eye the kai karanga saw Paikea himself and he was flinging small spears seaward and landward. (pg 136) And through the mists of time the ancient bull whale saw his master, Paikea, flinging wooden spears into the sky. Some in mid flight became birds. And others on reaching the sea turned into eels. And he, Paikea himself, was a mauri populating the land and sea so that it was no longer barren. (pg 138) The koroua swayed in the silken tides of the stirring sea. Though tired, he sensed the truth in his cosort‟s words. For he remembered that Paikea had hesitated before throwing the last of his wooden spears and , when he did this, he has said, „Let this one be planted in the years to come when the people are troubled and the mauri is most needed.‟ And the mauri, soaring through the sky came to rest in the earth where the afterbirth of a female child would be placed. (pg 139)
  22. 22. Chapters 20 and 21 Nanny Flowers wakes up in the hospital, with Koro Apirana beside her. She despairs that her Kahu is lost to them forever. Instead she learns that while she was unconscious, Kahu had been found floating in the ocean, surrounded by dolphins. Kahu was found 3 days after her brave ride on the back of the ancient bull whale. Kahu had been rushed to hospital, where her heart had stopped many times. The doctors have revived her, but she has yet to wake from her coma. Koro Apirana blames himself for all the times he cast Kahu away from himself, and that he never saw that she was the one. He is contrite and accepting of all the Nanny Flowers says of him. While the old married couple are arguing, Kahu suddenly wakes.
  23. 23. Kahu tells her great-grandparents that they sound just like the kai karanga and the koroua (the ancient whales) arguing. She apologises to her great-grandfather for falling off the whale, and says that if she was a boy she would have held on tighter. She apologises for being a girl. Koro Apirana tells her that she is the best grandchild in the world, and boy or girl, it doesn‟t matter to him. Then from the backwash of Time came the voice of the koroua, the ancient bull whale. „Child, your iwi await you. Return to the Kingdom of Tane and fulfil your destiny.‟ Kahu looked at Koro Apirana, her eyes shining. „Oh Paka, can‟t you hear them? I‟ve been listening to them for ages now. Oh Paka, and the whales are still singing,‟ she said. (pg 148)
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