Artemis Riripeti Mahana In Witi Ihimaera’s The Matriarch As Replica Of Hine-Matikotai

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Mrs. V. Jansi, Dr. T. Jayakumar


Witi Ihimaera’s The Matriarch (1986) is a historical novel written in the form of opera. It is a depiction of the pains of the principal character Artemis Riripeti Mahana. She endeavours to make her grandson Tamatea understand the importance of Maori people and their attachment with their native land.  Being a very strong independent woman, she stands for the welfare of her people. Mahana expects her grandson Tamatea to take after her role as a lead fighter for her tribal group and to retain their identity. Therefore, she guides him with both physical and mental lessons. His body is honed to perfection. Her trainings would groom him into a better human being in order to enable him to sustain the future struggles of the Maori people.

              Like the mythical woman named Hine-matikotai who supports and helps even an

unknown wood carver Rua-te-pupuke to save his child, Artemis Riripeti Mahana in this novel plays a pivotal role in the life of her grandson Tamatea. With this lens of focus, this paper tries to justify that Aretmis Riripeti Mahana is nothing but a replica of the mythical character Hine-matikotai.

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