Fred Graham

Whiti Te Ra

Whiti Te Ra by Fred Graham

Artwork Detail

Whiti Te Ra refers to Ka Mate Ka Mate the iconic Māori haka composed by legendary Ngati Toa Rangatira Te Rauparaha around 1820. The haka celebrates life over death and Te Rauparaha's lucky escape from death. It is said that Te Rauparaha was hidden in a kumara pit to avoid his enemies finding him, and when he emerged he was met by Te Whareangi, a very hairy man.

Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!

Ka mate! ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!

Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru

Nāna nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā

Ā, upane! ka upane!

Ā, upane, ka upane, whiti te ra!

Whiti Te Ra
Fred Graham
Production date
oil stick on board
550 x 1290 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2008
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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