Author Witi Ihimaera
Publication date 1994
Published by Raupo (Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd)
ISBN ISBN 978-0-14-025432-7
Publication Order
Preceded by
The Whale Rider (1987)
Followed by
Nights in the Gardens of Spain (1995)

Witi Ihimaera wrote Bulibasha while in Menton as the Katherine Mansfield Fellow in 1993.


This character list is incomplete. Main Characters

  • Simeon Mahana, also known by the Maori transliteration of his name, Himiona.
  • Tamihana Mahana, also known as Grandfather Tamihana and Bulibasha.

Mahana family

  • Tamihana Mahana
  • Ramona Mahana
    • Matiu Mahana named for Matthew in the New Testament,
      • Mohi Mahana
    • Maaka Mahana named for Mark in the New Testament
    • Ruka Mahana named for Luke in the new Testament, married to Aunt Dottie
    • Hone Mahana named for John in the New Testament, married to Aunt Kate
    • Ruth Mahana married to Uncle Albie
    • Sarah Mahana married to Uncle Jack
      • Haromi Mahana (Salome)
    • Aperahama Mahana named for Abraham in the Old Testament
    • Ihaka Mahana named for Isaac in the Old Testament
    • Joshua Mahana married to Huria (Julia)
      • Faith, Hope, Simeon and Glory Mahana
    • Sephora Mahana
    • Miriam Mahana
    • Esther Mahana
  • Ihaka Mahana (Tamihana's brother, great uncle to Simeon)

Poata family

  • Rupeni Poata
  • Maata Poata
    • Caesar Poata
    • Poppaea Poata aka "The Brute"
      • Poppy Poata


  • Zebediah Whatu, friend to Tamihana.
      • Andrew Whatu, friend and 'cousin' to Simeon.
  • Apirana Ngata, a real person in New Zealand history, written as part of the fictional world.
  • Miss Zelda, Miss Daisy and Scott, Pakeha shopkeepers
  • Pani, sheep shearer, suitor to Miriam although 6 years her junior.
  • Miss Dalrymple, Simeon's teacher.

Plot SummaryEdit


  • Refers to many Biblical stories
  • Shakespeare
  • Greek mythology
  • 1950s American pop culture
  • Zelda, Daisy and Scott - names from F.Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby



See AlsoEdit



External LinksEdit