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TOENGA is the only daughter of the once celebrated Waraurangi, the most powerful chief of the Nga-ti-maru tribe, formerly inhabiting the Great Barrier Island, which is situated at the mouth of Hauraki Gulf, near the frith of the Thames.
The tribe to which Toenga belongs was almost entirely extirpated a few years since by the Nga Puis from the Bay of Islands, who waged war against the Nga ti Paoa tribe, of which the Nga ti Maru were a subdivision; those who still remain, live about Coromandel Harbour, and at various Pahs situated near the mouth of the river Thames.
Toenga is represented wearing a garland of the Clematis, the piki arero of the natives, a plant indigenous to the forests of New Zealand, where it climbs to the tops of the lofty trees, forming graceful festoons, which are covered with its star-like blossoms. The hat is of foreign manufacture, but has of late become fashionable amongst the gay damsels who visit Auckland to spend their money at the stores of the Europeans; and who, instead of manufacturing their native costumes from the fibres of the Phormium, prefer purchasing muslins, and even satins, with which to adorn themselves on state occasions. Toenga, like many of her sex, is an inveterate letter writer, and I remember on one occasion, to have seen her despatch a native messenger with upwards of a dozen letters, some on paper, and others on flax-leaves to her friends and relatives at the Thames."
- Nga Toenga, Daughter of the Barrier Island Chief
- Production date
- circa 1847
- hand coloured lithograph
- 250 x 130 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2009
- Accession no
- No known copyright restrictions
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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