My Practise Journal – Koro

Write a journal from Koro’s perspective at the moment when he is lying on his bed and Paikea has just placed the invitation to her concert on his pillow.  Write a minimum of 300 words.

Provide information on:

  • events (or experiences) that happened which are meaningful to him
  • his feelings about such events
  • his attitudes
  • his relationships with others

IMPORTANT: Make sure you READ at least one other student’s response and COMMENT on it.


64 responses

  1. There is no hope for a new leader. I’m so frustrated and have no understanding as to why all of my students failed to become eligible leaders for or tribe. If nobody can pass the tests that I provide, then maybe there won’t be a new leader for our tribe, as my people deserve to be put into the best, most capable hands as their leader. The children were hopeless as they swam to the top of the ocean, filled with disappointment they all hopped into the boat with nothing to say. They couldn’t provide me with what I requested and need, so they aren’t the leaders. The Whale tooth represents our tribe, people and culture; therefore if they cannot save the Whales’ tooth, they are not capable to have our land put in their hands. I have chosen not to give my granddaughter, Paikea a chance as she is a female, which already means that she is not fit and will not be a good leader. The males are the true leaders as they show bravery, control and responsibility. Males are also known in our culture to be the more dominant and stronger character. Paikea, therefore, does not fit the requirements, she is incapable and has made everything extremely difficult as her twin brother passed away. He would have definitely been the best choice for the new leader. The birth of Paikea and not her twin, was where everything started to go wrong.
    There is nothing more that I can do, there is no new leader. Our tribes future is not certain as we do not have a capable young, male leader. What else can I do? This is a tragedy.

  2. I’m sitting here in my bed crying because I have lost my whale tooth when I was trying to pick a new leader for the tribe. I am also sad because none of the boys are good enough to be the new leader. I am contemplating whether or not to go to Paikea’s performance she invited me to.

    I took the boys from the school out in the tinny for the last of the tests I explained to them that this is the last of the tests and that they all have courage and the qualities of becoming a leader but I explained that only one of them can be the new leader of the tribe. I threw the tooth out and said retrieve the tooth and you will be the new leader. They all jumped in the water and started swimming I was waiting for a while about one or two minutes until they all surfaced none of them had the tooth I felt horrible.
    It was probably the worst I have ever felt in my life I had lost the most important thing to me in my life I was suddenly filled with mixed emotions sadness, depression, grief and the urge to cry. I got home and hopped into my bed and started to cry. I am also sad that Paikea has gone to stay at my sons house, and that is when Paikea walked into my room and said that she had a concert on and that she wanted me to attend.

    I really want my tooth back and I hope the loss of the tooth doesn’t mean that the community is going to fall apart I am not going to Paikea’s concert tonight I hope it wasn’t important.

  3. I can’t believe I’ve failed. All that time trying to find a leader to lead our clan. All that time wasted. I couldn’t believe that Pourouyangi’s son died. I was sure that he was the one to lead our clan. I am so frustrated with Pouroyangi, he just left or culture and left us with this girl. When she left with her farther I thought she wouldn’t be back for a while at least but she came back. After that I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to find a new leader by starting the school. I taught them all about tradition and our values in culture. The boys, if they applied themselves, might have had a chance of becoming a leader. But the boys failed me by failing to retrieve the whale tooth by simply fighting over it. They do not show the qualities that leaders need .No one else in this community is willing to stand up and take leadership, so I have. None of them care about culture. My other son has grown lazy and I see nothing for him in the future he never does anything that helps the community. Neither of my sons do. All I want is to find the next leader but I have failed to do that. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong but obviously I’m missing something important. Maybe I’ll find out what, maybe I wont

  4. I’m sitting on my bed in the dark; I guess that’s how I feel too. I feel dark and depressed I cannot understand why god has failed me yet again. Today I gathered all the first born sons and took them out on the boat to the middle of the ocean, I threw in my whale tooth necklace and told them the first one to retrieve it shall become the next chief. After heads bobbing in and out of the surface of the water, I became anxious that no boy would succeed. However, two boys had been under for a very long time, 6 minutes almost and I knew my whale tooth would be returned to me soon, I saw both their heads floating up to the surface and looked into their hands but my necklace was nowhere to be seen. “Where is it?” I yelled.
    “I almost had it chief and then he knocked it out of my hands and I couldn’t reach it!” One of the boys exclaimed.
    The boys and myself have failed yet again. Losing my whale tooth was the same as losing my leadership and I could no longer handle the pressure of keeping this community together. Noone in this community lives by the Maori culture anymore, it’s because of Paikea, things began to go wrong the moment she was born. How dare she think she can become a leader when she is just a small girl, an INFANT! That child cursed this community, I feel nothing but resentment towards her. Our culture will never be the same.

  5. This just isn’t right. I’ve opened up a school and gathered all the first born boys so that I can find a leader. But none of them can become the new leader. I risked my very sacred whale tooth to find a worthy leader to take care of my tribe, and now it’s gone. I’m devastated and I feel like fainting every time I think about it. I’m about to give up hope. If none of the first born boys are good enough. Who is? Could it be Paikea? No. I hope not. I keep telling her to go away but she keeps coming. Is she trying to make me fail? I knew that since she was born, things were going to go wrong. Every family member I know seems to be becoming worse and worse. First of all, I have two sons of which one of them is a fat, lazy worthless man, and the other is a man that leaves his own daughter with me and flees of to a different country. Am I doing something wrong? None of the boys are good enough and that must mean something. The next leader has to be here somewhere. Hopefully the answer will come soon because the sooner I find out, the sooner everything will stop going wrong.

  6. I was busy lying on my bed with the sunlight shining on me when Paikea comes up and gives me an invitation to her school concert. She never learns. I don’t want to have anything to do with her. Everything bad that has happened to me and the community has been her fault. I don’t understand why she keeps trying to “impress” me. She knows that a girl cannot become the chief of the tribe.
    I have thought back about all the experiences she and I have had, and most of them have been good, except I am very arrogant about her actions. Maybe I should’ve been more encouraging towards her, seeing that she is showing great leadership skills and has great knowledge of our community’s ancestors and traditions.
    No. No way. What am I thinking? No way can a girl become the chief of this tribe! It’s impossible! Only the first born boy of any family within the tribe can become a chief. Only a boy! Not a girl! It’s unthinkable to have a girl has the leader of a tribe. I need to have more faith in this school I have set up to find a leader. I’ll go back with the boys tomorrow to see if they can find the whale tooth again.
    I have gotten up again to ask the ‘Ancient Ones’ for assistance to help me choose a leader. I hope they heard my pleas.
    I’ve thought some more about Paikea and how she could be the chief. Maybe it can happen. She has shown amazing skills and interest in our traditions. She can be annoying at times, but that’s only one bad thing about her in with all the million good ones. I think I will go to her concert tonight and see how it goes.

    Note: The paragraph spaces are meant to be the times when Koro goes back to bed and takes a nap. It is all throughout a time period of two hours.

    • Liam, this Journal includes things that have happened in the future!. The whole thing is just meant to be on the one second mentioned in the focus sentence. However, overall, it is a good, in depth piece.

  7. I’m sitting on my bed, listening to the waves go in and out. I wonder what is the point of going to the concert. I have failed my job as a leader of this tribe, what is the point of me going? After all, Paikea has been nothing but bad luck for this tribe. Everything went wrong when she was born so why should I pay her respect? She has messed with sacred tradition. I think I’m nothing but a failure after losing the twin son of the tribe (who was meant to be the next leader) and then failing to find a suitable leader for the tribe. My ancestors must be ashamed of me. I have failed as a leader, a teacher and a grandfather

  8. After Paikea has given him the invitation to the end of year concert
    I’m sitting here on my bed thinking; how did things ever get this terrible? Just earlier I was lying down and Pai came to me, inviting me to come to her end of year concert down at the concert hall. But I am in no mood to go anywhere or see anyone. I keep revisiting my disappointment and devastation when none of the boys’ could retrieve the whales tooth from underneath the water. Not one first born son had enough courage to retrieve it and if they could not fulfil this task then they would definitely not be fit to lead this community. All hope is lost. If only Pai’s twin brother had lived then we would not be in this mess; we would have our leader. It’s been a long time since my tribe has been all together in unity. My community is drifting apart slowly; my people have lost sight of old traditions and the real Maori culture. Bad habits such as smoking have formed and this is influencing the younger ones. If only someone could stand up, be brave and take courage. That’s what this community needs, a real leader. Someone who is not afraid and lacks no courage, then things will all be put to ease. But I’m afraid there is no one. What am I to do?

    • You have written a great journal from Koro’s perspective. You have included good detail and have said everything that is needed to know about Koro’s feelings and thoughts. Great job 🙂

  9. I am sitting on my bed in the dark. My mind and body are filled with mixed emotions of anguish and utter disappointment. What hope do I have now of finding a new leader, none of the boys have any potential and my son is most certainly not coming back. I have failed as the leader of the community and now the gods have decided to punish me. What is there left to do? Ever since Paikea was born our community has been destined for failure. She has brought nothing but bad luck to the tribe.

    Today was the boy’s final test. I took them out in the boat and threw the whale tooth overboard. I said to them, who ever finds it will be the next leader. All the boys, except two, dived in. A few minutes past, and I was beginning to feel nervous that none of them had surfaced. Then I saw a struggle under the water, and two of the boys emerged. Neither of them where holding the whale tooth. One of them had grabbed it, but the other was selfish and tried to take it from him. In the end none of the boys retrieved the whales tooth, and it was lost beneath the waves. I had failed yet again.

    When Paikea returned from school, she came into my room and placed an invitation to her school concert on my pillow. I did not open my eyes or acknowledge her, every time I look at her I am reminded of my failure. She is a curse on this community.

    I am no longer sure of the future of the community. There is nothing left for me to do. I am filled with despair. I have failed and now the gods are punishing me.

  10. Why can’t anything go right for me? I have tried so many times to find a leader but I have failed. As I sit here on my bed I have time to think about everything that has happened over the past years. I think the community would be better off if my grandson had survived. Now my whale tooth is gone I have no hope, I don’t know what I am going to do. The concert is on tonight but I don’t plan to go, after all Paikea has been ruining everything for me. She does not understand that a female can’t be the leader of our tribe, it is not traditional. Our community has been falling apart from the day Paikea was born. She has not done anything right and continues to disobey me. I feel like I have failed my ancestors. The whale tooth was very important to me, without it our culture and tradition may not survive.
    Today I took the boys out in the tinny for the last test. I threw my sacred whale tooth into the water and told the boys to get it. The boys dived for the tooth, as they started to surface I was anxious to see who would be the new leader of the tribe. All the boys made it to the surface but none of them had the tooth. My stomach dropped, I just wanted to shut down as I felt I had failed. Not only had I failed to find a leader, I had lost the whale tooth. Will I ever see the tooth again? I do not want to talk to Paikea I feel she is the one who has caused all this grief and trouble in our community. If only she would have left with her father, maybe the community would be better off. Will there ever be another leader in our tribe?

  11. I am lying here in bed crying and devastated about what has happened to me over these past few years. I have lost the only hope to save this community as Paikeas twin brother died along with his mother. Then my first son ran away and never came back until Paikea was 8 years old. Then he tried to take Paikea away from me but then she came back as I searched for a new leader with all the first-born sons. On the final test was when I threw my whale tooth in the ocean and asked the boys to go get it and that is when they didn’t get the whale tooth. When I got home I got into bed and started crying as I have failed our ancestors to find a new leader.

    I felt horrible and upset after all these events that have happened to me in the past few years. I have been shocked that I have not found any new leaders and I am trying desperately but I can’t find any new leaders and I don’t know what to do. After the first-born dies I knew most hope was over with finding a new leader for this community. When none of the first-born boys got the whale tooth I was shattered that I could not find a new leader.

  12. I’m sitting on my bed in the room. I feel horrible, anxious, annoyed and miserable and I cannot understand what is going on. I can’t believe I have lost my whale tooth because I was trying to find a new leader for the tribe family so I through it in the water and said, ‘the first person to pick up the tooth will be the new leader for the tribe’. The whale tooth is nowhere to be seen. The boys slowly floated back to the surface of the ocean and when they did I looked into their hands and it wasn’t there. It has made me depressed because the boys weren’t good enough to become the new leader and that I have lost my leadership and now everything is going to collapse more and more bad things are starting to occur like smoking has no encouraged the community to do it and this is now influencing the young ones. This is why we need a leader who will be brave and take courage for their culture.There isn’t one first born baby that has enough bravery to lead this community. If only Pai’s twin brother did live then we wouldn’t have so much stress on who’s going to be the new leader because he would’ve been the leader. I have made my final decision I am not going to attend Paikeas end of year concert tonight because I am very disheartened

  13. Can this day get any worse? The boys in the school have all failed. It was going so well, any one of those boys was a sure chief, but then, on the final test, none of the boys returned the whale’s tooth, none of them. Our future as a community is surely lost, with no chief and a girl for the daughter of Pourourangi, a girl named Paikea. That girl is the source of our problems, and she knows that I’m depressed and she’s the reason for it, and yet she still comes to me with an invite to a concert for her! She has broken the tapa of the school and she has disobeyed me countless times. I have tried calling the ancestors, but they haven’t heard me. None of this would have happened if her twin brother had survived. Wouldn’t the community’s lives be far better if she had died and the boy had lived, if the community had a leader to give them hope and someone to put trust in. She is the reason for the community fracturing and forgetting the old ways. It is all her fault. However, I can’t just kill her or banish her; I have already accepted she is alive and enjoyed her company, but is there more I can do. She has shown her leadership qualities several times to my dislike. She didn’t laugh or show disrespect in the concert the other day, she weaved back together the rope that symbolized our ancestors to get the outboard motor working and she now has shown she is fluent in ancient Maori, so fluent in fact that the she has won the best speech award for the east coast. Perhaps I should go to the concert tonight.

  14. I am alone and this time it’s both physically and mentally. Why am I sitting here feeling angry, disappointed and upset? I know why, it’s because I’m a failure and my one goal that i was so determined to get, i failed miserably. It feels like the first born sons just gave me a big smack on my face with no respect. Ever since Paikea was born everything has fell apart. All the tradition in our community and the unity that we had. There was potential in that baby twin boy to become the next leader but the death got to him before i even got to hold him. It feels like the more i try to regain the old tradition the more i get disappointed. During the time Paikea was growing up, i had to try my very hardest to adapt to the fact that she was a “girl” but i knew deep inside of me that she was the reason that the community has been falling apart. When my son visited Paikea and decided to leave together, i felt revitalised and it was the right time to start the search of the next leader. I gathered up all the first born sons and gave them classes on what it takes to be the leader. Everything was going well and i only had one more test. I threw my whale tooth ornament in the sea and the boys jumped in to find it. I knew that if a boy comes up with it, he was the new leader. What devastated me was that none of the boys returned it. I cried, grieved and prayed out to the ancestors and i received no answer, Until now i still have no answer with what has just happened. I am living with no purpose.

    • This journal is going nicely. Some improvements you might like to make would be in grammar (capitalisation of the word ‘I’). You could also apply the stucture we saw in English yesterday.

  15. I had failed them. I had failed my tribe. They had no chief to lead them. Only two days ago, I had been taking the boys out to the island for their final test, getting the whale tooth. None of them brought the tooth up.
    I wouldn’t have had to have done this if it weren’t for that girl. Paikea had been causing havoc for a long time now. First, she survives instead of her brother, who was meant to be chief, and destroys the line back to the ancient ones. Second, she fixes the broken boat engine with an equally broken piece of rope. Thirdly, she refused to do as she was told to and sat at the front at the school I had opened to find a chief. Finally she disobeys our tradition by, not only learning taiaha, but using this ancient skill to defeat Himi, the boy who I believed would make the best tribal leader from the first born who I had taught the ancient skills to.
    I can only think of one person who would have taught Paikea taiaha, Rawiri. Rawiri would have made a better chief than his older brother, had it not been that he was second born, and was thus, ineligible to be chief. I can vaguely remember being proud of my second son when he won the trophy for taiaha.
    Only hours ago Paikea came in to my room to invite me as the guest of honour to her school concert. I’m unsure if I am to go or not, however my wife has laid out a suit for me to wear, alsmost like she knows something I don’t. Maybe one day she will tell me.

  16. Silence. I’m alone, I’ve failed. Things weren’t supposed to end like this, this place is my home. I was given a duty to make sure the tribe would stick; we would stay like the olden days forever. But it’s out of my control, the boys they smoke, they drink they don’t care about the tribe or about the culture. The significance of our ancestors means nothing to them. At the concert; they had such disrespect for the spirits, for the tribe’s story. And, Paikea, she caused everything, this is all her fault. Why? Why did the boy have to pass, she stole his name, he was going to be the new leader. And Parangea, my own son, he left; he didn’t even care about what would happen to the tribe. He’s the chief’s son, he has great responsibility and he’s just left and having kids with some girl he doesn’t even know. He just left us with Paikea, like we would want her… People call me stubborn and strict but if I wasn’t there where would the community be? Our ancestors would shun me for not keeping up the traditions. It’s not like I didn’t try I was determined absolutely determined to make one of the boys the next leader, but none, NONE of them could do it. Not one damn boy! The whale tooth, they couldn’t do it, Paikea now she was the only one but she is not a leader. She is a girl, she can’t be.

  17. What choice do I have? My grandson was to be our new leader, the one who was going to lead our community out of the dark but he never took a breath. My oldest son has gone off to lead an artist’s life in sculpturing overseas and my second lazy and unfit to lead the community. I even tried teaching the first born boys from the community all our culture and traditions yet they all failed me in their final test, not one of them retrieving the whales tooth.

    I am filled with anguish and despair, the one boy I hoped for, that was doing well in my classes was proven unworthy when my granddaughter Paikea beat him in a taiaha fight. She has caused so much trouble for our community, living instead of her brother, which is where all my troubles started. She destroyed all my hopes of finding a new leader. When her father came back for a visit I thought I was relieved of her. I thought I could start up a school for the first born boys and find a leader but to my despair she was back within a few hours destroying my chances in every way possible, even defying me when she sat at the front of the boys on the day I opened the school.

    There is no hope left. Our community has lost its ways and forgotten about our culture and our past traditions. They have taken up bad habits such as smoking and drinking and I can do nothing about it. They have lost respect for me. They need a new leader to save them from this state of disgrace and renew their culture since I am unable to do so.

  18. Why did this happen to me? My tribe is falling apart, the same tribe I vowed to protect when I became the leader. Yet, now everything has gone wrong. My grandson died, and, on top of that, my son, who was going to be the next leader, went and left, leaving me with someone who has no use to me. I pray for someone to help us out of this hole we a descending into, but no one answers. I pray for someone to stop the corruption, but no one seems to hear. If I cannot find the leader I have been seeking, I fear that the tribe will be destroyed, But no one else see’s this. Also, I lost my whale tooth, my tribal symbol, lost in the depths of the sea. Who do I blame for all this? Piakea. The girl does not see why the leader cannot be a girl. Every thing has gone wrong since she was born. Now she is trying to stop me in my quest to find a leader. She showed me great disrespect when she tried to teach herself the ways of a leader and was messing around with a sacred weapon. She is disrespectful with me and is trying to end me. So this is what is left of me, a man who is disrespected, a man who has no one to take up the place of leader when I die, only the corrupt. I have nowhere to go. No purpose. No life.

  19. I’m a failure, I have failed to find a new leader and lost the sacred whale tooth. This tribe has been in misfortune ever since Paikea was born. She has been a nuisance to me, disturbing the opening of the school and breaking the tradition by using a weapon she shouldn’t have been using in the first place.

    Both my other sons have failed to become the next leader and I have lost the whale tooth testing the boys in the community, so who will become the next leader? I have tried my best to teach the boys the old ways and the new chief can’t be a woman. That baby boy was my only hope and Paikea has already caused me too much trouble. She is useless to me, is she trying to stop me? She keeps on trying to be the leader but that is impossible.

    I sense that this tribe might disappear into modern society unless I find a new leader. The fart the boy did in the concert the other night was very disrespectful. Why are my ancestors doing this to me, Who do they think the next leader is?

    I am feeling more depressed than ever before, I should just give up. I am not sure if I should go to the concert tonight, maybe I will just walk along the beach.

  20. This has been a dreadful week. My whale tooth has been lost and none of the village boys can be the new leader. This is all because of Paikea!

    Earlier this week I went out with the boys of my school of tradition to the whale island, in a boat. To find the leader among them I threw my father’s whale tooth out into the ocean. They were told the new leader would emerge with the tooth. Immediately all of the boys jumped off the boat, and started diving into the deep water. In the end after only two minutes everybody had surfaced. Nobody had the whale tooth. That day not only had my whale tooth been lost, there was no new leader amongst the boys.

    Paikea must be the cause of this failure. She was the one to break the schools’ ancient taboo. How dare she make the boys fail and how dare she disrespect me. This girl has been trouble from the very start. If Paikea had not been born, everybody’s problems would be solved. Her brother would have been the leader, the whale tooth would not have been lost and she would not have cursed our tribe. Nothing good has happened since she was born, Paikea has ruined everything. Paikea invited me to her concert tonight. But why should I go? That child is a pesky nuisance and all she brings is trouble. She should had left with my hopless son Parangea. Paraganea should have become the tribe’s leader but he never cared for the tradition and culture. My son is always away when I need him and he always leaves us with trouble; Paikea.

    All hope is lost. Our community will never have another leader. The whale tooth is lost forever. The only person to blame for this wrong doing is Paikea.

  21. It all started in the hospital when my first born sons’ wife died giving birth to two twins, a boy and a girl. The boy didn’t survive. He was so upset that he abandoned his tribe and left to spread his ‘art’ around the world. Now I am the most important member of the tribe, even though they are abandoning their traditions for the more modern life, and now there is no one to take my place and I can’t let a women command the tribe. So I started my own school and I’m trying to find out what young male is strong enough to command the tribe through this difficult time. Paikea wanted to be a part even though I disabled it, she did it behind my back, training with my own students on how to use a taiaha. For the final test the boys who made it through the tests had to retrieve my whale tooth necklace from the ocean floor, none of them could do it. Is this a sign of some kind, has Paikea angered the gods. I have given up all hope of finding a new leader; the tribe is doomed to lose its sacred traditions to the 20th century. Now Paikea has given me a invitation to her con cert and award ceremony, but I don’t think I can look her in the eye right now. I hear the songs of the whales outside, I’m going to go and look.

  22. It all started when my grandson died and Pikea survived the birth. Paraganea was meant to mend the community, our only hope, our new leader. But he never cared and moved to the westernized Island. But his son was our new hope. Everything is lost, I have failed to find a new leader of the first born sons and I have failed to help this community. I am lying hear in my bed, getting surrounded by new ways and people not following the ancient ones. Pikea is really the bad luck and the darkness of our community and tradition. Pikea is a name for a leader, not a young girl running around not understanding the meaning of belief and tradition. She wrote me a letter asking me to come to her “Maori” culture. I’m sure she is just fine without me. Earlier this week I tried to find new hope, I made the entire first born sons’ of the community come to my school of culture. I trained them I trained them well, if not Pikea had to butt in and try learn to be a leader. I wish Pikea had never been born. We have shamed the ancient one who has been called Pikea by naming a girl after him. It is a disgrace and I will let it never happen again. But the worst is I am the one who let this community slip out if my hands for now my people have no hope and do not care about tradition, they would rather sit and drink all day with their mates, like my son Ramiri. We have all given our tradition away for nothing.

  23. This sickening despair and grief is welling up in my body getting larger and larger. I don’t want to be like this. I’m dressed ready to go to this conference that she invited me to. I want to support Paikea tonight, but I just don’t know if I can bring myself to do it.. Why’d she have to find the whale tooth, why’d she have to fix that rope, why was she born? No that’s wrong. I shouldn’t be thinking like that. But I can’t help it everything would just be so much easy if the boy had survived and she had gone. It’s wrong, so wrong of me to think like this. But it’s always going to be in the back of my mind. I can’t voice my thoughts but they all know. Everyone knows what I think, especially Nani. She knows but she tries to no believe it. She will forever look down on me for it. I recall perfectly the words she spoke to me on the day of Paikeas birth. She said to me “You say the word, and I’ll get a divorce, bub.” I couldn’t lose them all. Not my wife and the new leader; and my son. There was no chance he would stay after this. I like to hope that I had faith in him. But I didn’t, as soon as I saw his face I knew he was a goner. And he wouldn’t come back for a long time. I just had to accept the fact that all I had was this girl. What would become of it, well then I had no clue. Deep down I know that Paikea is the true leader. But I will not accept that to be the truth. I hear the whales calling to me, telling me. I can hear them now.

  24. Things really can’t get any worse. It all started with the death of my dear grandson who dies at birth. Why did Paikea have to be the one to survive? Everything would have been so much better if only Paikea wasn’t the twin that survived. Tonight she invited me to a special concert. To be honest I really don’t want to go. I just can’t bear to look at her as every time I do she reminds me of my failure in my search of a new leader. She has caused nothing but problems ever since she was born and for some reason Nanny loves her to bits. Nanny is loyal and I live her dearly but lately she has been defying me. She needs to understand I am the head of the house. I remember her saying once that if I didn’t treat this little girl with respect and love then she would leave me. I feel I have failed both my tribe and myself by not finding a new leader. How could none of the other first born boys been a leader? I don’t understand! It MUST be one of them … it must. The community is falling apart and losing their traditional ways and I feel there is nothing I can do to stop it; it is heartbreaking. I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive Pourourangi for leaving us the way he did. I could not even look at him in the eye when he came to visit. How dare he leave us? This feeling of regret and guilt is piling up inside me. I know I haven’t been there for Pai or Nanny, but I just can’t bear the thought of losing them but I can also not bear the thought of having my dear Pai as a leader. She can’t be the leader. She is still such a small little girl who is lost and still waits for me everyday to pick her up from school on my bike and take her home.

  25. I’m lying here in the dark; I guess its how I feel. I just can’t find a suitable new leader, well that’s a boy anyway. If only Paikea had died instead of her twin brother, then all of my problems would be solved. I don’t know why Paikea has to try so hard to become something she never will, It’s all her fault!
    It all started in the hospital, when Pourourangi’s poor wife died, along with her son and unfortunately, we were left with the daughter and from that day on my tribe has suffered. Its just that Pai, oh poor Pai thinks she can be one of the boys, learn like them, think like them and fight like them, she just doesn’t know that a boy has to be the leader and that father she cant.
    Today I took the boys from my school of tradition out on the boat to the edge of Whale Island. Once we got there, I threw my father’s whale tooth overboard and asked the boys to get it. After a few minutes, they all surfaced but none of them had the tooth. Right at that moment I thought’ I have failed’ and then drove the boys back to shore in a solemn silence.
    Now I am here, lying on my bed in a hole of depression that I have no will to get out of. Paikea just handed me an invitation to attend her concert tonight. I’m not going to go. I just can’t be bothered. It would serve her right, it’s here fault I can’t find a leader. If only her brother didn’t die, all my problems would never had have started.

  26. From the moment my grandson died and I was left with a worthless female I knew it would be very hard to find a new leader. I didn’t know that none of the boys would be worthy for being chief though. I have failed. I feel worthless and disappointed in myself. Will the tribe live on? Or will it stop right here with no leader? I can see our cultures falling apart, I know people are losing their culture, and not following rules. But to have the community and our culture die out and have it be my fault is worse. Or is it Paikea’s fault? When she was born that’s when everything started falling apart. Now, he s making it more difficult then ever to find a new leader. She is worthy, I know it but I will not let her be chief. She knows that a man has to be leader, but she won’t stop fighting for it. She thinks she can just tell me that she would be chief and that will happen. No. I am chief and I will choose who will be the next chief and it will not be a woman. Paikea invited me to a performance she has tonight. She said she has a surprise for me. I don’t know if I will go. It will remind our people of our ancestors and our culture, but she hardly deserves getting my attention. I just feel sick that there can’t be a new chief. I have to think of something to do to get a new leader. I will sleep now, maybe rest of my sadness and devastation.

  27. I couldn’t feel any worse. My community is fracturing under western influences, the whale tooth has been lost and there is no potential male leader in the entire village. I am lying here in the dark, not bothered to move an inch. I am a failure and Paikea is to blame.

    It all started when she was the one that took a breath at birth and not her twin brother. My grandson was expected to become the new leader of our community but he never lived. My son was too depressed over his wife and son’s death and so he went to travel the world. He didn’t want to start a new family and have another boy for our community. Everything looked hopeful for a while; Pouroangi was going to take Paikea away with him to Germany. I had plans to start a school with all the first born boys of our community teaching them the tradiations and values of the dying Maroi culture. From this group of boys would be our next leader. However Paikea did not leave the village and insited on staying here. Much to my annoyance she wanted to be part of the school I had set up but I refused to let her join. This school was only for boys! But, again Paikea did not obey my strict rule and went behind my back and learnt the traditions from Hemi. Hemi was my best student! Paikea ruined everything.

    It was this morning that I realised I had failed. My students and I went out in the tinny for the last test that would determin the new leader. I was so sure one of them would retrieve my beautiful Whale Tooth so I tosed it over the boat and made them find it. However none of them did. The moment when all their heads broke the surface with no Whale Tooth in hand was when this dark hole trapped me.

    This evening Paikea invited me to her end of year concert but why should I go? She has ruined everything for this community! Paikea is the one to blame for all this wrong doing. The whales have just called to me, I must go.

  28. I’m feeling terrible. The community has fallen into disrepair. None of the bays passed the tests I set them. This is Paikea’s fault. She is always listening in and interrupting. If her brother hadn’t died….
    I have Failed, I have failed the community. I can’t believe she was using the taiaha and she beat Hami. He was my last hope. Pourarangi shouldn’t have abandoned us he could have led us. It is his fault he left Paikea. He could have had another child. When pourarangi took her away it was are chance. I thought she would be gone for a while but she just came back and interrupted our meeting. I thought them our traditions and how to fight at the school but still none of them were able to be the new leader. I thought they had a chance if I thought them but they fought over the whale tooth and failed to bring it back. If only someone was good enough to lead us. Why doesn’t someone stand up and become a leader.

  29. Everything has been bad for me, ever since little annoying Paikea was born. All of my students failed me! The tribe is falling apart and we are losing all our traditions. I had trained all my students so well, so why didn’t they get the tooth? I have no idea who the next leader of the tribe will be or even if we will have a new leader? Paikea is showing a lot of leadership potential but I can’t let a female be a ruler, they aren’t worthy enough. The leader is meant to be strong, powerful and brave and women just don’t show any of these leadership skills. Women are meant for doing the house work and staying at home looking after their children. Why couldn’t her twin brother and mother just survive the birth of Paikea? And why did Pourourangi leave after the birth and death of his children, if he didn’t call Paikea, Paikea, because it makes her feel as if she needs to be the leader. It would have made it so much easier for me and the whole tribe. I feel as if I have failed not only myself but the whole of the community. There is nothing more I can do; there will be no new leader! I should have given Hemi a chance of finding the whale tooth, he was showing the most potential of becoming a leader but I left him on the beach. No, I made the right decision he was beaten by a girl and not only was it girl it was Paikea. I can’t go to the concert tonight, I have failed the community!

  30. I have failed. I have let down my ancestors, my community and myself. If only Pikea didn’t fight with Hemi… He would have been the perfect leader. It’s all her fault. If only her twin had survived and she had died. Then he could be the leader and my efforts wouldn’t have been wasted trying to train those lazy fools that call themselves potential leaders. She has ruined everything and now she just expects me to go to her silly little concert. And Nanna sides with her all that I’ve done. Things would have been better if she went with her father. He started this it wasn’t Pikea it was her father’s fault for leaving her with me, for letting he twin die, It was his entire fault!

    Yes I know it’s bad…. Don’t comment. 😛

  31. I don’t know what to do. I have no leader, since the death of Paikea’s twin brother and Porourangi leaving and dumping that little Paikea for us to look after; she is such a burden, always getting in the way of things. I need to find a new leader. She shows a hunger for knowledge of the ancient ones, she wants to be leader. But she can’t. She’s a girl. A few weeks ago I found out that Porourangi has a pregnant girlfriend in Germany. I thought that he had come back to become chief. I was wrong. I told him to take back Paikea, and he convinced her to go with him to Germany. I was finally happy when the four wheel drive left the house, so happy I had an idea, to teach all first born BOYS in the community the skills and rituals of a chief. But she returned. I knew it was too good to be true. She has destroyed all my attempts to find a new leader, sneaking around the school, trying to learn the special chants. I found her using the taiahia, I think she asked her uncle how to use it, she also beat a boy in a tahia battle. She eliminated that boys for becoming chief, I had high hopes him. The remaining boys failed to the last test. I threw my whale tooth into the ocean for them to retrieve, two of the boys didn’t even get in the water, hopeless. And to top it all off, guess who found the whale tooth, Paikea!! What really drives me insane is that she didn’t even know what it meant to find the whale tooth, she just wanted to make me happy; ha! like I’m going to believe that for a minute. My failure has caused me to do nothing. Paikea has just come in to give me some invitation for a school ceremony. I’m not sure if I’ll go, but after all she did find the whale tooth.

  32. I still feel like Paikea’s presence is in the room. Her face is haunting me and forcing me to remember the time when I was standing over my son’s dead wife. She had twins, one boy and one girl but the baby boy died and took the mother with him. I move in my bed trying to get away from that dreadful memory. Instead I recall when I saw Paikea fighting with the boy with a Taiaha, I felt rage and bitter how could a girl be learning these skills and to beat a boy fighting with a Taiaha, it is absolutely disgraceful. I never thought I would feel that anger again until I put the boys to the final test to see who would be chief, as I threw my whale tooth into the deep, blue ocean I saw it land in a perfect splash. I watched my boys dive into the blue waters one by one liked hungry wolves and I thought to myself Yes, I will finally find a new leader. But as I saw their heads pop up from the ocean my eagerness began to droop and I started to feel disappointed. None of them had caught the Whale tooth. It was lost forever, all the boys had failed this one simple task and from then on I decided that nothing could have gotten worse. As I lay in my bed, I try to shut out the world. I don’t have a chief, I don’t have the whale tooth and now I don’t even have my pride or my sense of tradition. All I have is this stupid invitation from Paikea, should I go? But then I remember it was her fault this happened to me, it was her fault her brother and mother died and it is her fault for ruining this community and breaking the tradition it once had.

  33. Why! We’re finished. The whole village is finished. Robbed of their traditional values. Leaderless. All because of Paikea. What drove her to defeat Hemi? I’ve warned her so many times and yet she doesn’t take the hint. She’s a girl. If she had died and the boy lived in the first place then none of this would have happened. Why couldn’t one of the boys have clawed his way, just a little more, to grab the whale tooth? I start a training program for all the first born sons in the village, striving to find the one, and yet they fail me. Paikea cannot become the new leader; she’s a female and females are never leaders of tribes. Even my wife threatened me – females belong best in the kitchen. I saw it in Paikea’s eyes the minute she was born. She was a threat to the framework for our community – she gets too involved with things she’s not supposed to! I thought her departure with Porourangi meant a new beginning, but she returned to ruin everything. Now, I am goalless. I have failed my role as a leader and mentor – let her slip through the fingers of my hand. The community is fracturing. Disintegrating. Hemi smoking – what was he thinking? I even have one son who leaves his daughter with me and then deserts us to go overseas, and the other has turned into a fat slob who sits around with his ‘friends’ drinking booze. We needed to restore this village’s traditions and beliefs and Paikea does me a wonderful favour by disarming Hemi of the Taiaha.
    Now Paikea lays an invitation to her ‘concert’, after all the havoc she has done. Expects me to watch her dance and deliver a speech. Claiming I’m her ‘guest of honour’. Pfft.

  34. There is no hope left for our tribe. I can’t blame myself though. I have tried time and time again to help our people and regain our tradtions. So why is it me, lying here in the dark when all i have done is try and build up our tribe? I have sacrifised so many things for these people and they could atleast repay me by being respectful of our culture. So here i am. Lying in the darkness, with no whale tooth around my neck. Pai came into my room today. She layed an invitation on my pillow and asked me to come to her school concert. I dont understand why that child calls me her ‘guest of honour’. She still treats me like her favourite person in the world even though i havent been all that kind to her. Maybe i have been a little to harsh on Paikea. Shes only young and does not fully understand the ways of her people yet. All she wants to do is impress me, and i wont even listen. Maybe i should go to her concert, I owe her that much.

  35. I’m sitting on my bed listening to the sound of the waves crashing along the beach shore. All that is going through my head now is my whale tooth, how could I even trust those children with it leaves me confused. I still remember how much effort I put into receiving such a prized possession and letting it go to waste, so much of my life was wasted. I hear my granddaughter, Paikea enter the room. I try not to notice her as she has caused the problem for this event to happen, I see her place down a letter and she speaks to me, but I don’t bother to reply. I later read the letter thinking, ‘Why should I come, I should just leave her, she caused this problem and it’s not like it is anything special like really, It’s just a play. I lie back down to relax and try to get to sleep but now all I can think about is my lovely granddaughter and how she has helped me, but im not going to go. Instead I should go for a walk on the beach and talk to my ancestors and have a relaxing time, that is just what I will do.

  36. It all started the day Paikea was born. She had a twin brother who died at birth and took their mother with him. He should have been our next leader, instead there is Paikea. As she got older, we became a lot closer. I would pick her up from school everyday on my bike instead of her catching the bus. Until we became close, I despised Pai. All I had wanted was a boy to be born. We had shared some good times when we were close and we really did feel like a family. Paikea’s dad and my first born son, Porourangi, would come and go throughout the years. He would stay for a short while each time but then leave to go travel and show off his work in other countries. He came to Paikea’s most recent concert where she performed a traditional song she had been practicing for a very long time with her class mates. Myself and my wife attended the concert to show our support. Porourangi did show up towards the end of the concert and saw Paikea perform. The look on her face when she arrived was full of happiness. He had come as a break from travelling and to visit us. One night he decided to show us some of his recent work. I brought along Paikea’s school teacher, for all I knew, he could have fallen in love with her. Instead we all found out that he was seeing a woman in Germany and she was pregnant with his child. That certainly was not the best day of my life. I was furious. I told him that Paikea was no use to me and to take her with him, so he did. They drove out of town, but Paikea decided not to leave. She came running to see me in the hall and tell me she was staying, but I was furious, so I ignored her. This is the signal of the beginning of my troubles. I decided to set up a school to find a new leader. All of the young boys in the community came along to try to be the new leader by learning the traditions of our culture. I taught them a lot of lessons they will find valuable in becoming a leader. I gave them many challenges to face and one boy in particular caught my eye until Paikea beat him when she was practicing everything I had taught the boys behind my back. I took the few final boys left out in my tinnie and we went out to whale rock. My final challenge for them was to find my whale tooth after I had thrown out into the ocean. All of the boys had failed me. I had failed my task in finding a new leader. Paikea was sent to her uncles’ house for a while, as I mourned not having a new leader. I have spent the past few days in my bed, too depressed to do anything. This morning Paikea came by and dropped off an invitation to her next concert and had told me that she wanted me to be there. I still haven’t gotten up out of my bed and that is where I plan to stay for now.

  37. From the moment that my grandson died, I knew that the future was going to be a disaster. No male in the family to grow up as the new leader, meant that our community would separate and a disaster would occur. This is a tragedy. Paikea; the female of the twins that survived, only made matters worse. She is useless being a female. What good could she do but interrupt our family chain of leaders. I needed to put young boys from the community to the test to find the one I desire. The final task involving bravery, courage and determination was out amongst the cold deep blue waters of the ocean. I threw my whales’ tooth into the water; hopeful and almost certain of its return. However all the boys returned to the water’s surface empty handed. An instant rush of despondency, let down, and intolerance hit me. I was shocked to think that no one in this community had what was needed to take over my role. I lay in bed for days, giving up on the task at hand. This was a disaster. Paikea was faithful that her grandfather would realise her potential as a chief leader, so she invited him to her end of year concert. As her incredible speech (awarding her the greatest speech on the east coast) was announced to an empty chair. Paikea’s heart sank. However her bravery did not. She only wished that Koro could see past the traditions of their tribe, and follow what a true leader is all about. The entire community was fading, and all hope was lost. What was to happen next? Does Koro follow his heart, or the tribes heart.

  38. Paikea has broken the schools ancient taboo. She fought and beat the only boy I was slightly confident could be our new leader as he grew; and now he cannot.

    Why was it that Paikea was left to live while her brother lay dead at her side? What did I do to deserve a granddaughter that thinks she could fill my shoes as a tribal leader? The whole community knows that the leader must be a male. It seems useless continuing the search for anyone suitable for the role, not even one of the boys managed to get the tooth near the surface; they just fight and are selfish. I am a useless leader and teacher, my community has been drained of its tradition and self-respect; and I am all to blame and so is Paikea. She doesn’t realise the rules and commitment of a true leader. I am starting to think that all hope is lost for this community and town. No one understands me, what would my ancestor’s think of me if I was to just give up and let her take the precious spot that she is not fit to take? They would feel betrayed.

    Now as I think of Paikea standing in front of all those adults, performing something I am not there to see, I feel guilt. As I get changed to go I hear the whales, calling to me, asking for something just out of my reach, so I go outside and everything goes from bad to worse.

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