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TE WHERO-WHERO OR PATUATU. THE PRINCIPAL CHIEF OF ALL WAIKATO.
Te Whero-whero is the most important man of all the Waikato tribes, and has an almost unlimited influence amongst his people; as a warrior he is equally renowned with Rauparaha of Cook's Straits, and there are few chiefs who possess such tact and discrimination in all matters of policy.
My interview with Te Whero-whero was in his plantation at Whatawhata, where, seated on the ground against a fallen log, he was superintending his people at their work. Whilst painting his portrait, it commenced raining heavily, but owing to a superstitious notion that his person was tapu, Te Whero-whero refused to change his position; at the same time he most politely ordered some of his people to erect a temporary shed over me: this was at once done, by fastening some blankets to upright poles, and enthroned beneath this canopy, I completed my portrait of old Te Whero-whero.
The following is a copy of a letter given to me by Te Whero-whero, as an introduction to the celebrated Te Heuheu, the chief of Taupo:
Whata Whata, Akatopa 4, 1844.
E te Heuheu tena ko koe. E tai kia pai tou atawai ki ti pakeha e haere atu na ki a koe. Na tou ingoa i kawea atu, he kai tuhi tuhi ahua ia, naku hoki na Potatau tenei pakeha. E tai kia atawai atawai koe ki tenei pakeha. Kei he koe ki taku pukapuka, he pakeha tauhou no Ingarangi.
Na te hoa,
Kai a te Heuheu.
Whata Whata, Oct. 4th, 1844.
Friend Heuheu, Health to you! Let your hospitality be very great to this stranger who is going to see you. Your name has carried him away. He is a writer of images; he belongs to me - to Potatau. Be kind to this European. Take heed you do not despise my book. He is a strange foreigner from England.
By me, your friend,
TE WARO AND TE PAKARU.
Te Waro is the principal chief of the Nga-ti-Apakura tribe, a division of the Waikatos, and is remarkable as a man of distinguished ability and prowess in all matters connected with the government of his people. He generally resides at Waipa, but is often at Kawhia and Ahuahu. His dress, as represented in the plate, is a Kaitaka, with a very rich border. Te Pakaru is the head chief of the Nga-ti-Maniapoto tribe, also an important division of the Waikatos; like Te Waro he is a celebrated orator, and the mildness of his manners, combined with the general amiability of his conduct, have long rendered him a universal favorite amongst all who know him. Te Pakaru is sometimes called Apokea, and dwells near the Mission Station of Ahuahu, where he usually attends the service as a Christian convert."
- Te Werowero, or Potatau, the Principal Chief of all Waikato. Te Waru, Principal Chief of the Nga Ti Apakura Tribe. Te Pakaru, Principal Chief of the Nga Te Maniapoto Tribe
- Production date
- circa 1847
- hand coloured lithograph
- 365 x 543 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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