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

Muriwhenua. Kahawai

Muriwhenua. Kahawai by George French Angas, J W Giles

Artwork Detail

Angas's description:



1. MURIWENUA is the oldest chief of Aotea, a harbour on the west coast, a few miles to the northward of Waingaroa. There is a Wesleyan mission station at Aotea, and this chief, though still a heathen himself, and unwilling to renounce the religion of the Tohunga, is friendly and well-disposed towards the Christians. Muriwenua cannot be less than from eighty to ninety years of age; he has a remarkably tall, spare figure, and his dishevelled hair and grisly beard impart to him a savage appearance. Formerly he was one of the most courageous warriors of his day: now he is regarded as possessing unusual powers of sorcery, and has much influence amongst his tribe. He is represented wearing a beautiful topuni, or war mat, of dog's hair; the colours of which are so assorted into stripes as to resemble a tiger's skin. In the distance is part of Aotea Harbour, with the mountain of Perongia beyond.

2. Kahawai or Pugnarehu, principal chief of the Nga ti hinetu tribe. This important individual resides principally amongst his people at Ngahuruhuru, in the Waipa district, not far from the great deserted pah of Raroera: his garment is a rich topuni, above a European blanket, and in his hand is his meri poonamu."

Muriwhenua. Kahawai
George French Angas, J W Giles
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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