Foy Brothers

[Hori Ngakapa Te Whanaunga]

[Hori Ngakapa Te Whanaunga] by Foy Brothers

Artwork Detail

The sitter in this photograph is Hori Ngakapa Te Whanaunga, who was a rangatira of the Ngāti Whanaunga iwi. As rangatira, Ngakapa was a significant person in various events that unfolded in the 1850s and 1860s. In 1851 he was one of the several rangatira who led a waka taua from the Hauraki Gulf north to Auckland.

During the Waikato War (1863/1864), Ngakapa led his people in the defence of the Tainui iwi of the Waikato. Together with his wife, Hera Puna, Ngakapa took part in the fighting and siege of Orakau. After the end of hostilities in the region in 1864, Ngakapa was instrumental in the opening up of the Coromandel Peninsula to gold mining which contributed to the growth of Thames. In 1865 Ngapaka participated in a gathering of the confederation of Hauraki tribes and some Ngati Porou in Thames, who met to discuss conflict between Māori and Pākehā. To demonstrate his commitment to peace, Ngakapa gave James MacKay a dogskin cloak given to Wiremu Tamihana by Wi Tako Ngātata for Potatau Te Wherowhero to wear as the first Māori King.

This photograph is related to, but not identical to, the portrait by Lindauer of Hori Ngakapa Te Whanaunga (1915/2/13), painted in 1878. Note that the beard and the clothing in this photograph is different from the painting. The Lindauer paintingthe painting directly relates to the photograph of Ngakapa in the Alexander Turnbull Library collection (ref. no. PA2-0725).

Ken Hall notes an account in which Lindauer’s painted version of the Foy Brothers’ photographic portrait of Hori Ngakapa Whanaunga was exhibited in the Foy Brothers’ window and was subsequently sold to Ngakapa. It can be deduced from this account that the relationship between Lindauer and the Foys was, in this instance, collaborative and Hall argues that it seems plausible that other Lindauer oil portraits of Māori portraits based on the Foy’s photographs might have been offered for sale in similar circumstances.

[Hori Ngakapa Te Whanaunga]
Foy Brothers
Production date
circa 1872-1886
cabinet card with albumen silver print
163 x 108 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, on loan from Peter Langdon (custodian), Frances Langdon, Mark Langdon and Paul Langdon, whose father John Marshall (Jack) Langdon was the son of Louisa Langdon, one of the seven children of James Joseph Foy
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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