Whale Rider - a parallel Christmas story?

an ancient Maori cultural myth, the story of a long-awaited great leader who is coming to bring new life to a dying tribe

Whale Rider - a parallel Christmas story?

The film “Whale Rider” (directed by Niki Caro, New Zealand, 2002) just released on DVD opens with an unusual birthing scene and invites a parallel with the Christmas story. The gentle voice of a young girl narrates an ancient Maori cultural myth, the story of a long-awaited great leader who is coming to bring new life to a dying tribe.

This anticipated leader traces his lineage to the ancestor “Paikea,” a revered hero whom tribal lore describes as having arrived from the legendary island Hawaiiki, miraculously, on the back of a whale.

“But now we were waiting for the firstborn of the new generation, for the descendant of the whale rider,” she discloses, “for the boy who would be chief.”

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