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July 24, 2006 | by  | in Books |
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Bulibasha: King of the Gypsies

THIS BOOK is an attempt by Ihimaere to write a Māori western based on two rival families, the Mahanas and the Poatas, living in Waituhi (just outside of Gisborne). Both families own a shearing business. Two of the main characters in the Mahana family are the grandmother Ramona and the grandfather Tamihana, who are seen by the community as kaumātua with mana. Within this marriage is concealed a terrible secret.

Ramona and Tamihana’s youngest son Joshua, his wife Huria and their tamariki live with them. Joshua’s youngest son Himiona is outspoken, disobedient but hardworking. Himiona likes education unlike his father, uncles and cousins who all went to work in the family business. Tamihana has always treated Himiona differently throughout his life and Himiona’s further infuriates Tamihana by further educating himself.

The Mahanaa and the Poatas have always been rivals since World War I. The families have competed against one another in business and in sports. Following Tamihana’s passing, the family secrets come out of the closet. This book sheds light on the relationship between the Poata and Mahana families and the relationship Tamihana has with his own family. Bulibasha will definitely change the perspective a reader has towards Tamihana.

Ki oku nei whakaaro he tino pai te pukapuka nei nā te mea ka whakaatu ki te Ao Pākeha i ngā tūmomo āhuatanga o te Ao Māori. Tuatahi, ka whakaatu tēnei mea te mana, ā, ka pehea mai i te taipākeke tae noa ki ngā tamariki. Tuarua, ka whakaatu ngā porohētanga me ngā aituatanga o te kura pākeha ki ngā tauira Māori. Ka whakaatu hoki te motuhaketanga o tēnei mea te mahi kutikuti hipi. Me pānuitia te pukapuka nei.

Winner of the Montana Book Award 1994
Reed Publishing, $29.95

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