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A NATIVE FEAST AT MATA-TA.MOUNT EDGECUMBE IN THE DISTANCE.
ON all great occasions, it is customary with the New Zealanders to hold feasts, many of which are on a large scale, and continue for days and even weeks together. At such periods as these, the neighbouring tribes are invited to join in the general festivity, and the war dance is performed at intervals during the feast. The quantity of food that is wasted at these meetings, (which are called hui), is almost incredible; and the consequence frequently is, that the unlimited profusion of the feast is followed by a season of scarcity amongst those tribes by whom the entertainment is given. The provisions usually consist of dried shark and pigs, with enormous baskets of potatoes and kumeras; these latter are planted in large quantities in anticipation of the hui, and at the time of my visit to the celebrated Te Wero-wero, about one thousand of his people were engaged in planting kumeras in the grounds at Whata-whata, preparatory to a great feast which that chief intended to give to all the Waikato tribes in the ensuing summer.
THROWING THE SPEAR.
THE MODE OF SALUTATION.
WHEN a party of visitors arrives at a Pah belonging to another tribe, it is usual to receive them with some show of ceremony; the salutation is commenced by a spear being thrown by one of the chiefs: the visitors then sit down, and after some time has been passed in silence, they exchange civilities by the performance of ongi or pressing noses; this frequently occupies a considerable time, and when it is concluded, feasting immediately commences.
The scene represented is not far from Maungataritari, beyond Waipa; on the right is a portion of the fencing of a Pah, before which the inhabitants are drawn up in a body to receive their visitors; a space being cleared between the two parties, for the throwing of the spear.
The elevated house in the centre of the sketch is a very lofty patuka, or storehouse for seeds, erected outside the Pah, the access to which is by the notched steps cut in the pole upon which it stands."
- I. A Feast at Mata-Ta, on the East Coast. Mt Edgecumbe in the Distance. II. Throwing the Spear, the Mode of Salutation. A Party of Visitors Arriving.
- Production date
- hand coloured lithograph
- 543 x 365 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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