Bulibasha : King of the Gypsies

On the East Coast of New Zealand two patriarchs fight to be proclaimed king Tamihana is the leader of the great Mahana family of shearers and sportsmen Rupeni Poata is his arch enemy They will fight to win the title of Bulibasha and be proclaimed the King of the Gypsies, Caught in the middle of this struggle for power is the grandson of Tamihana and his wife Ramona, theOn the East Coast of New Zealand two patriarchs fight to be proclaimed king Tamihana is the leader of the great Mahana family of shearers and sportsmen Rupeni Poata is his arch enemy They will fight to win the title of Bulibasha and be proclaimed the King of the Gypsies, Caught in the middle of this struggle for power is the grandson of Tamihana and his wife Ramona, the teenage Simeon 2 cassettes.
Bulibasha King of the Gypsies On the East Coast of New Zealand two patriarchs fight to be proclaimed king Tamihana is the leader of the great Mahana family of shearers and sportsmen Rupeni Poata is his arch enemy They will fight t

  • Title: Bulibasha : King of the Gypsies
  • Author: Witi Ihimaera
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 195
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Bulibasha : King of the Gypsies”

    1. Bulibasha is probably my favourite Ihimaera story; the writing is lyrical and the characters compelling. There are hints of "Whale Rider" and "The Beginning of the Tournament" woven in through the text and, like most Ihimaera stories, you feel that you are reading fictionalised recollections of his own life. The characer of Bulibasha himself was very well crafted and I enjoyed reading of Simeon's growing determination to follow his own path, deviating from the one that was predetermined by his g [...]

    2. Completely biased opinion of course because I got to know Witi while writing the screenplay adaptation of this book - a fabulously energetic and event-filled account of growing up in rural New Zealand. Its a sprawling family saga but at its heart is the contest of wills between a young man, Simeon, and his overbearing, religious, all-providing grandfather, Bulibasha, who founded the Maori family's sheep shearing dynasty. Its sort of a companion piece to "Whale Rider" about a young woman's coming [...]

    3. Another book I had to read for a school assignment.Movie leaves out a lot of detail in the story but pinpoints the important stuff. Inequality between two races, struggles against colonisation, tradition and modernitya lot of New Zealand past/present societal issues. I'm just glad to be done with class. And happy this contributes towards my reading goal :P

    4. Set in rural New Zealand in the 1950s, this novel deftly evokes a bygone era. Although old-style sheep-shearing, and a long-standing feud between two extended Maori families might not sound like material capable of sustaining 300 pages, author Witi Ihimaera's colorful descriptions are more than up to the task. And as might be expected in an honest and realistic portrayal of family dynamics, the book delves into a number of universal themes: life/death, love/hate, solidarity/jealousy, respect/dis [...]

    5. A fabulous author's fantasy autobiography, this humorous coming-of-age novel features memorable Maori characters in a huge family tribe, a feud worthy of Maori blood feuds of a 100 years previous, sheep (well it is New Zealand), and sports. I stayed up all night to finish this one!

    6. Bulibasha was my choice of Maori title for Indigenous Literature Week at ANZ LitLovers because I had three books by Witi Ihimaera on my TBR, and this one was the earliest one. It won the Montana Book Award for Fiction in 1995.It’s a coming-of-age novel set in sheep country on the east coast of New Zealand. Simeon is the narrator, looking back at his younger self in conflict with his tyrannical grandfather and the family that was subservient to him."In those days, if you wanted to get to Waituh [...]

    7. This novel starts of as a gritty, sad tale of growing up at the bottom end of a poor rural Maori hierarchy in the 50's. What starts off in the genre of tragedy becomes interspersed with uplifting scenes and story-lines that seem almost cut-and-pasted out of classic Hollywood films. As well as an insight into the poverty and its impact that still exists within New Zealand, the novel is also I think a personal account of how movies were a form of escape, indeed a solace for the author whilst growi [...]

    8. One of my favourite books ever. Read it 16 years ago and finally got a copy to re-read. I even received a bonus copy by accident!

    9. There was much in this book that I didn't enjoy - the description of butchering livestock, the sheer violence of the sports games, the domineering, dictatorial Bulibasha and the acceptance by all and sundry that his control of the family, by any means - sarcasm, direct orders, physical violence - was not to be questioned. None of that fits into any lifestyle scenario that I have experienced, nor do I find novels that have these things as the main theme to be appealing. So I almost stopped readin [...]

    10. A story with biblical, literary and mythic overtones. There are echoes of the Scriptural story of Jacob and Laban throughout the novel.Simeon opposes his grandfather’s iron rule of the family, only to discover that, in his large extended family, he is the only one like his grandmother. She, abducted on the way to her wedding by Bulibasha on a white horse, has twelve children by a man she doesn’t love. The family is brought up to hate that of her intended groom, Rupeni. They form a shearing b [...]

    11. I was skeptical about this book because I didn't like the cover (yes, I'm one of those people), but I got into it quickly. I liked the cultural background as I really knew nothing about Maori culture.

    12. I identified with the patriarchal organisation of the Maori culture clashing with the individualistic pursuit of the Pakeha/European/Western culture. The first chapters were thick mud to wad thru, it seems.

    13. I absolutely adored this book. Sad, deep, but also surprisingly funny. I have never read anything like it. 10/10. Will look into more of his works.

    14. Reading this book in the current climate of Harvey Weinstein makes it all the more disturbing. While I can’t say I enjoyed this book it is one that has stayed with me after reading and given me a lot to think about. Witi has a very good way of describing the hard work of shearing and cutting or clearing bush in New Zealand, describing life in the 1950s I also enjoyed his humour as this book made me laugh out loud in parts.

    15. I read this book so that I was better able to help my Year 13 students who were coming to me asking for interpretations of their essay questions. For me, the first 50 pages were like chewing cardboard but I had made a deal with one particular student that we would both read the first 100 pages and then meet again to discuss it. I persevered through to page 100 and about then I found that I wanted to continue. The characters had become ones I wanted to follow the journey of. Still not my cup of t [...]

    16. I think I had a "who wants to read books by authors that they were forced to read at school" syndrome going on with Ihimaera, which I'm now regretting. Bulibasha was a gorgeously lyrical coming of age tale, with beautiful evocative description. It took me a while to get into, but a third of the way through something just clicked and I raced through the rest. Will be looking to pick up more Ihimaera soon.

    17. I totally loved the reading experience. I loved that te reo Māori was woven into the narrative; I loved the description of scrub cutting and shearing - both things part of my childhood and teenage years. This was the kind of book I was glad to be delayed so that I could continue reading. Others have outlined the plot (young teen constantly batting against the religious dictatorship of his grandfather as he also questions the systemic racism of 1950s East Coast.) Ka rawe. He tino pai pukapuka.

    18. This book I read cover to cover. It describes an earlier NZ that I did not know. I really felt like I was in that tight knit, hard working, trying to get by, family, striving to achieve, in part as reaction against the strength and stories of grandfather Bulibasha. I liked how the book resolved, but not perfectly.

    19. I don' t think I have ever said that I liked a movie more than I liked a book, but in this case I did. The novel was good but I did find it was a bit longwinded in places and not as good as other books I have read by this author. Did love the last few chapters though. Enjoyed the movie a lot more.

    20. this was an interesting book, with some magical realism, but not a lot. The best part was how the competition between families was played out in a sheep shearing contest. classic. totally recommend it.

    21. Laugh out loud hilarious, an awesome narrative of the work, lives and characters in rural Hawke's Bay in the 1950s. Some familiar characters and stories from Pounamu Pounamu, just like catching up with old friends. It did get a bit Hollywood near the end, but still immensely enjoyable.

    22. There are 40 million sheep in Aotearoa. There are sheep everywhere. This book about a boy coming of age and rebelling against an autocratic and vicious grandfather in a sheep-shearing father was a wonderful read during my time in New Zealand.

    23. Really, really good. Vivid and tender and heart-wrenchingI wouldn't have imagined that a tale of sport and shearing could move me so: it's because, first and foremost, Bulibasha is a raw evocation of whanau love, life and problems. (I kind of hated the ending. Sorry.)

    24. Fantastic step into rural New Zealand in the 40's to 60's. Made me homesick! Grew up amongst these amazing people, just the names were different. This book is superbly written. Dying to get a hold of the movie. Loved the Mahana clan.

    25. This made me laugh and cry in equal measure. The story is epic and lyrical and no doubt semi autobiographical. it's a delightful read and I really enjoyed it this second time around. now I look forward to the film adaptation due out this year.

    26. The film "Mahana" is based on this. I loved the book; would love to see how it translates to the big screen.

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