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Posts Tagged ‘Maori culture’

MIHI by Gavin Bishop

August 6, 2020 Comments off

mihi imageMIHI by Gavin Bishop. Pub. Gecko press, 2020.

If you are in a group of people and you are introducing yourself in Maori culture that is a Mihi.

This is a board book  about you, it is your Mihi.

It begins with your canoe on top of a wave then your mountain, river, marae, tribe, family, Mother, father then you.

So simple yet so deep and it is for everybody. This is your place in the world.

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew.

January 20, 2015 Comments off

conrad cooperConrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew. Pub. Puffin Books, 2014.

Ten year old Conrad Cooper is a boy who thinks seriously about life and takes things literally. He lives with his mother who is a little skittish and doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself and  Gaz a policeman and control freak who oozes paranoia every time he is in the story. He is Conrad’s stepfather and while he doesn’t beat him he holds Conrad’s mother to task every time Conrad brings up something awkward and Conrad does this a lot.

Conrad wants to talk to someone and after studying the myth of Rangi and Papa and learning about Tane god of the forest he decides Tane is going to be the god he speaks to because other gods may be too busy.

Jasper is Conrad’s friend in a manner of speaking and he tells Conrad he can’t have Tane as a god because he is not Maori. This opens up a whole can of worms most of it hugely tongue in cheek and funny. Conrad thinks if he becomes a Maori then things will be fine but how does he do this?

It is 1978 and this book is very much a time piece for the age. The big thing happening in NZ is the Bastion Point occupation. Conrad gets involved and Gaz his stepfather does not like it.

A good read -a -loud for years 5/6 and 7/8. Told with humour and understanding by Leonie Agnew. It is great to have a child’s view of the Bastion Point occupation, I am sure we can laugh at it, this is not Paris.

Patu. A novel by Tim Tipene

December 14, 2012 Comments off

PatuPatu. A Novel by Tim Tipene. Pub.Libro International, 2012.

Jahnine is 16 years old and in her own words “as white as they come”. Her mother Maggie is in hospital dieing of cancer and being looked after by her wayward sister Trina.

The family have plenty of history but the thing that really matters is the Patu that they have had in the family since their great grandfather acquired it during the Land wars. The family feel that they are cursed and Maggie wants to return it to the rightful owners. Maggie feels her own cancer is related to possession of the Patu and Jahnine vows to return it.

In the quest to return the Patu< Jahnine meets a disturbed Maori boy called Andy who at first takes the Patu, then leads her to meet his family and this is where the action starts.

With his brother Jimmy, a handsome Maori boy who the girls love, with five illigitimate children and no direction in life. Jimmy’s girlfriend Piki who has two children of her own and is still only 18 years old, Sid a follower and wastrel who is always under the influence of something. Jahnine and Andy join this crew in a journey south in a crapped out car to seek information on how to find the real owners of the Patu.

The road trip is a life changing experience. But are they taking the Patu home or is it leading them.

Powerful story with strong themes about the alienation of maori city youth from their culture. Mainly for high school students and well worth a read.