Indigenous Societies

1. What object does the grandfather throw overboard a boat (and expects will be retrieved)?

a. his father’s brass heirloom pistol

b. his traditional chief’s necklace
c. his sacred black harpoon
d. his sacred smoking pipe
e. his radio

2. What is the central conflict in “Whale Rider”?

a. How do indigenous societies keep their traditions and yet accept change?
b. How indigenous societies must fight through the legal system to gain title to their land.
c. How can indigenous societies reverse language loss?
d. How do indigenous societies gain control over rising blood pressure?

3. What item has not been finished, but finally is (and is then used) at the end of the film?

a. a chief’s house
b. a traditional canoe
c. a woman’s hut
d. a ritual club

4. What (or who) is the grandfather trying to find?

a. the sacred carved steering paddle for his carved war canoe.
b. a leader who will lead his people into the next generation.
c. a new husband for his spinster granddaughter.
d. all of the above

5. What does the grandfather do when the object is not retrieved?

a. leaves it there and sinks into a depression.
b. retrieves it himself and then breaks it in half with his bare hands.
c. forces his son to retrieve it.
d. leaves it there and it is never retrieved again.
e. calls up a supernatural whale ancestor who swallows it up and spits it onto the beach.

6. This film…

a. captures the confusion of traditional culture in the transition to a modern one.
b. graphically depicts the abuse of native peoples at the hands of more technologically advanced white colonists.
c. focuses on what might be called “slave labor” conditions in Third World sweatshops.
d. portrays how one man is able to overcome his drug addiction to become the next chief of the tribe.
e. all of the above

7. How does ‘Whale Rider’ conclude?

a. the grandfather drowns, killed as he tries to ride a whale.
b. the girl is allowed to become a leader.
c. the girl’s mother is brought back to life by the supernatural whale spirit.
d. the girl helps win the court battle and gains ocean fishing rights for her people.

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