George French Angas (Artist), W Hawkins (Lithographer)

A Woman and Her Sons of Nga Ti Toa Tribe. Porirua Cook's Straits

A Woman and Her Sons of Nga Ti Toa Tribe.  Porirua Cook's Straits by George French Angas, W Hawkins

Artwork Detail

Angas's description:



ON the opposite plate we have E Pu, a woman of the Nga-ti-toa tribe, and wife of one of Rangihaeata's people, with her sons, E Roro, and E Toa, and her infant child seated at her back, wrapped in the flax garment that forms her outer dress. They reside at Porirua Pah.

The boy in a sitting posture, wears a coarse mat made of rough flax, called E Kakahu; his brother is clothed in a variety called E Mangaika, in which black and yellow strips of the leaves are inserted, and which is impervious to the weather. In the ear of the sitting figure is attached the skin of the fan-tailed fly-catcher, a small and very elegant bird that is frequent in the forests of New Zealand; birds are often used as ornaments for the ear amongst these people; occasionally the head with the breast feathers of the huia (Neomorpha Gouldii) forms an appendage which is highly valued; at other times the white feathers of the Albatross or the gull, are fastened into bunches, and worn in the ears. Besides these decorations, pieces of poonamu, or green jade, the mako taniwa, or tooth of the tiger shark, and occasionally a pipe, a key, a button, or a shell, are made use of as ornaments, and introduced into the ears of both sexes.

The men usually have their hair cut at stated periods; a few still adhere to the ancient custom of wearing it long and fastened up in a bunch at the crown of the head; the married women allow it to flow loosely over their shoulders; and unmarried girls invariably let it cover the forehead, and cut it in a straight line an inch above the eyebrows; boys and young girls generally wear it short."

A Woman and Her Sons of Nga Ti Toa Tribe. Porirua Cook's Straits
George French Angas, W Hawkins
Production date
circa 1847
hand coloured lithograph
235 x 185 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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