Most of the movie centres on the moral force of this relationship between Koro and Paikea. Paikea respects and admires her gramps, and holds a deep and cryptic connexion with the folk s hereditary line ; peculiarly her namesake, Paikea the Whale Rider, who was the first of his people to get in New Zealand, after traveling from Hawaii on the dorsum of a giant. The immature Paikea spends the majority of the movie contending for her gramps s blessing and credence. She holds great fear for the Maori traditions of old and is fecund in many of the cultural vocals and dances, which others of the younger coevals find irrelevant. She is exceptionally proud of her heritage and is eventually given the chance to turn out herself when a cod of giants become beached on the local shore. Seated atop the largest of the giants, Paikea is able to take the cod back to sea in the tradition of her ascendant. Though she about dies, her strength, bravery, and supernatural assignment as future head is adequate to convert Koro of her leading abilities, and a new coevals of Maori is given hope and counsel for the hereafter.
The traditions of the Maori people play a polar function in this movie. The secret plan lines and struggles that surround these traditions are manifested otherwise in each of the alone characters of the movie. For illustration, the eldest coevals, that of Koro, still holds fast to the more traditional Maori cultural beliefs and patterns. The grounds of this can be seen throughout the representation of this gramps or chiefly character.
From the beginning of the movie, Koro, is chiefly concerned with the continuance of the royal lineage via the reaching of a grandson. When merely his granddaughter survives, he is non merely acrimonious towards her, but he is besides preoccupied with rectifying the state of affairs for the interest of his people. He is non merely inexorable in continuing the patriarchal leading tradition, but the tribe-chief moral force, in general, that many in his society have abandoned in pattern and rule. Still cleaving to this manner of life, he and members of the senior coevals take action in an effort to make full the leading nothingness. It is decided by the senior council that a school, dedicated to the traditional instructions and cultural elements one time so critical to Maori society and leading, specifically, be opened to the male young persons of the community. Here, Koro may carry on a formal hunt for the following tribal head, while adequately fiting all male campaigners with the cognition and pattern of many forgotten Maori traditions, such as intonation, dance, and the usage of a taiaha. In maintaining with the civilization s traditional positions on gender and leading, Koro instills a male-only entree policy for the school, despite Paikea s involvement and adroitness in the customary traditions. When Koro finds Paikea hanging around the school, at one point in the movie, he accuses her of stealing the tapu or sacredness of the school evidences and the on-going instructions. At this minute, the earnestness of tradition and the weight these beliefs hold in respects to, non merely Koro s, but besides the full senior coevals s worldview can be to the full grasped. The believed deductions of the failure to continue these traditions are evidenced farther when none of the immature male students are able to run into Koro s outlooks. Koro becomes distraught to the point of physical illness and vacate himself to mourning in bed for yearss on terminal. When Koro learns of the beached giants, he once more displays the extent of the influence of his beliefs by delegating supernatural cause/blame for the incident. And, in the terminal, it is merely the supposed overriding of one facet of tradition by the supernatural kingdom that allows him to compromise and accept the function of his granddaughter in leading. Paikea s religious connexion with her namesake and her ability to tackle the power of the giants is, in Koro s eyes, a preternaturally ordained exclusion to the patriarchal leading tradition, and is hence permitted in its alone context.
The in-between coevals, that of Paikea s male parent and uncle, provides a much different point of position in respects to the relevancy of Maori cultural tradition within contemporary society. Although the audience International Relations and Security Network t given any indicant of Paikea s male parent s attachment to Maori tradition before calamity work stoppages, it is safe to state that one time the coincident birth and deceases within his household take topographic point, his emotion rapidly overrides all respect for a cultural belief system. As opposed to Koro, whose emotions are dictated by tradition, Paikea s father gives more weight to his personal feelings and less thought to the cultural effects of his determinations. He demonstrates this fact, foremost and first, by calling his girl Paikea ; the sacred household name meant to denote the male inheritor. Second, Paikea s male parent wantonnesss his household, community, and homeland wholly to populate and work abroad in Western Europe. This neglect for the values, which the senior Maori coevals clasp beloved is grounds of the continually lessened clasp of cultural tradition upon this in-between coevals.
Similarly, Paikea s uncle, a member of this 2nd coevals and one time proud warrior, proficient in the art of the taiaha, has abandoned all pattern of Maori tradition in favour of a more slack and easy life style. He is visibly opposed to his male parent s leading and leaps at the opportunity to demo his neglect for the folk and Maori tradition by giving Paikea taiaha lessons. The tradition that dictates the senior coevals s lives and actions has been wholly cast aside in all facets by the in-between coevals, and provides the cardinal struggle of the movie the nothingness in leading and deficiency of intent and counsel within the Maori people.
It is from the youngest coevals, in the signifier of small Paikea that a solution presents itself. While the bulk of the younger coevals is following in their ain male parents footfalls and taking to project off Maori tradition, Paikea sets off down a different way. Entirely, for the most portion, and tidal bore to derive credence from her gramps, Paikea develops an involvement in those things that Koro holds dear to his bosom. She adopts his love for the many cultural traditions, which he sees every bit, non merely relevant, but paramount to Maori life. She develops a deep sense of pride sing her heritage, to the point of winning a countywide competition with a address on her hereditary line. She besides takes it upon herself to memorise many of the traditional Maori chants and dances. In this manner, her intense desire to be accepted and loved leads to a Resurrection of Maori tradition within the younger coevals. Through her illustration, and finally the brave act of whale equitation, which leads to her credence as future head, she sparks a cultural resurgence within this contemporary Maori community. As one of the lone members of the younger coevalss still respectful of the traditions of old, she comes to mean hope that these traditions will, in fact, go on to be upheld in the hereafter. This promise that is upheld in Paikea s strength and courage unites the coevalss one time once more under the streamer of the Maori heritage.
The movie ends with members from all three coevalss take parting together in Maori usage by puting out to sea in a traditional longboat. This last scene is non merely important in the fact that it showcases the one time detached coevalss together once more within the context of cultural tradition ; but, besides that Maori tradition can come on and germinate as needed, in order that it may be preserved for future coevalss.