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Witi Ihimaera. Whale Rider is his first novel to be made into a movie. 1973- 1989 worked as a diplomat in New Zealand. 1990 began teaching at University of Auckland. Works focus on problems within modern Maori society. New Zealand. 1250 miles southeast of Australia.

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Witi Ihimaera

  • Whale Rider is his first novel to be made into a movie.

  • 1973- 1989 worked as a diplomat in New Zealand.

  • 1990 began teaching at University of Auckland

  • Works focus on problems within modern Maori society

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New Zealand

1250 miles southeast of Australia

Population est. 4,076,140

Capital- Wellington

About the size of Colorado

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New Zealand History

  • Maoris inhabited around 1000

  • Britain annexed in 1840

    • Treaty of Waitangi

  • 1841- Declared Sovereignty

  • 1904- Became part of the British Common Wealth

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Fun Facts

  • New Zealanders are also called Kiwis

  • First place in the world to allow women to vote

  • Longest Place Name still in use:


  • Aotearoa- Maori name means “long white cloud”

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Whare Runanga

“Counsel house”

Sacred buildings

Focal point of tribal customs

Named after important ancestor

Speak to buildings as a person

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Maori Art


Practiced among high ranking people

Marked rites of passage

Carved skin with chisels not punctured

Women tattooed on chin and lips

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Maori Art


Told legends

Represent unrealistic human forms

Symbolic of family status and genealogy

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Maori Art


Woven with New Zealand flax

Looms not used

Still important cultural significance

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  • Traditional Song and Dance

  • Originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition

  • Thought of as war dances; have different purposes

  • Part of formal or official welcome ceremonies for distinguished visitors or foreign dignitaries, serving to impart a sense of the importance of the occasion.

  • All Black ruby team performs at beginning of every game

Click here to view Haka demonstration

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