George French Angas (Artist), J W Giles (Lithographer)

Te Mutu, Chief of the Shutai, with his Sons Patuoni and Te Kuri Hokianga

Te Mutu, Chief of the Shutai, with his Sons Patuoni and Te Kuri Hokianga by George French Angas, J W Giles

Artwork Detail

Angas's description:



TE Mutu is the Chief of the Ihutai, a subdivision of the great tribe of the Nga Puis, residing near Hokianga River, in the west coast of the northern portion of the Island. Te Mutu is below the usual stature of the New Zealanders; he is lame, from a wound he received some years ago during one of the engagements with the Waikato Tribes; his character is frank and open, and his conversation full of pleasantry and wit. He is remarkably fond of his children, who usually travel with him. I met him at Waingaroa on the west coast, where he was staying on a visit to Awaitaia, or William Naylor.

Te Mutu is represented wearing a rich mat, called Tahi uru, made of dog's hair, fastened into a fabric of the finest flax, and beneath it is another, dyed black, and called wahinau, which is ornamented at the border with crimson wool; this latter is very beautiful and scarce. In his hand is his Meri poonamu, or weapon of greenstone, which is an article always possessed by a chief, and more highly prized than any other portion of his property. Many of the chiefs of the interior have very large meris, of the finest jade or greenstone, which are passed from father to son, and invested with an almost sacred value. The eldest son wears a Kaitaka mat of silk-like flax; and the younger one is wrapped in a kokahu, dyed black by the juice of the hinau; this garment is generally worn in the winter, or during wet weather, being impervious to the rain, which runs off it as from the thatched roof of a house."

Te Mutu, Chief of the Shutai, with his Sons Patuoni and Te Kuri Hokianga
George French Angas, J W Giles
Production date
circa 1847
hand coloured lithograph
270 x 205 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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