J W Giles (Artist) George French Angas (Related Artist)

Mungakahu, Chief of Motupoi, and his wife Ko Mari

Mungakahu, Chief of Motupoi, and his wife Ko Mari by J W Giles, George French Angas

Artwork Detail

Angas's description:



In the very heart of the interior of the Northern Island of New Zealand, is the lake of Roto-aire; and upon a promontory jutting into that lake, stands the Pah of Motupoi. The principal chief belonging to this remote and strongly fortified Pah, is Mungakahu; he is a man above the average height, with a noble dignity of carriage and expression; his manners towards strangers are courteous and polite, and there is an affability of character about him, which is very pleasing. His finely tattoed face marks the savage, but soul and intellect of a high order are manifest in his conduct. His dress consists of a couple of large blankets, above which is a remarkably picturesque kakahu of flax; the leaves are arranged in alternate patches of black and yellow, fastened into a fabric of fibres beneath; this garment is perfectly unique, it being the only one I have met with throughout New Zealand. In his hand is the hani, a staff with a carved head and tongue, ornamented with parrots' feathers and pieces of dog's skin.

His wife, Ko Mari, affords a good example of a woman of the interior; in her ear is a bunch of gull's feathers, and around her neck a large tiki, made of green jade.

In the distance are the snowy heights of the Tongariro."

Mungakahu, Chief of Motupoi, and his wife Ko Mari
Production date
handcoloured lithograph
301 x 241 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1964
Accession no
Other ID
1964/37 Old Accession Number, 1964/15/1/B
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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