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

Paratene Maioha, a Chief of Waingaroa. Wearing the Parawai, or Dog's skin Robe

Paratene Maioha, a Chief of Waingaroa. Wearing the Parawai, or Dog's skin Robe by George French Angas, George French Angas

Artwork Detail

Angas's description:



PARATENE (Broughton) whose native name was Te Maioha, is a cousin of Te Wherowhero, and one of the leading men of the Ngatimahuta branch of the Waikato Tribes. He generally resides in a village (or Kainga) on the northern banks of the picturesque little harbour of Waingaroa, on the west coast of the Northern Island; and the correctness of his general conduct, and the gravity of his demeanour, have obtained for him a marked ascendency over many of his equals in rank.

Eccentricity is the principal feature in the character of this chief; and the scrupulous attention which he invariably pays to those trifling circumstances which constitute his notions of etiquette, often renders his conduct highly amusing. He has gained, by unwearied application, a smattering of arithmetic; and one of his most self-satisfactory exploits is the correct solution of some such important problem as the value of a pig of a certain weight at a given price per lb., making the usual deduction for offal. His erudite qualities, and the dignified gravity of his carriage, have commanded the deferential respect of his people, and encouraged them to consider him quite an oracle.

One little incident will place the harmless foible of this chief's character in a striking light: when the author was about to employ his pencil in the delineation of his figure, Paratene desired to be excused for a few moments; having gained his point, he sought an interview with Mrs. Wallis, the missionary's wife, (under whose hospitable roof this portrait was taken), and prefacing his request with some solemn intimations of its paramount importance, begged "Mother"* to lend him a looking-glass, that he might compose his features in a manner suitable to his own ideas of propriety ere he took his stand before the easel of the artist!

But notwithstanding these humourous peculiarities, Paratene is a sensible and intelligent man, and much esteemed by those Europeans to whom he is known. Beneath the portrait is a fac-simile of his autograph.

* The epithet usually employed by the natives when they address the wives of the Missionaries."

Paratene Maioha, a Chief of Waingaroa. Wearing the Parawai, or Dog's skin Robe
George French Angas, George French Angas
Production date
circa 1847
hand coloured lithograph
300 x 230 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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