J W Giles (Artist), George French Angas

Weeping Over A Deceased Chief

Weeping Over A Deceased Chief by J W Giles, George French Angas

Artwork Detail

Angas's description:



ON the death of a chief, or any individual of rank amongst the New Zealanders, a great lamentation ensues, which is called a tangi. The women cut their arms and lacerate their breasts and faces in a dreadful manner, with the sharp and broken shells of the pipi or the mussel, until they become covered with blood. The dead body is laid out in state beneath the verandah of the dwelling, wrapped in the choicest mats; and the tail feathers of the huia are employed for decorating the hair of the deceased. This tangi frequently lasts several days, after which period the body is enclosed in a mausoleum of carved wood-work, or buried beneath an ornamental tomb, highly adorned with black and red paint and feathers. At the expiration of some months, or perhaps a year, the bones are raised, by the nearest relation of the deceased, and after being well scraped and cleaned are either deposited in an elevated box, or hid in a cavern known only to the Tohunga."

Weeping Over A Deceased Chief
J W Giles, George French Angas
Production date
handcoloured lithograph
251 x 355 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1965
Accession no
Other ID
65/101 Old Accession Number, 1965/14/5/B
No known copyright restrictions
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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