Colin McCahon

Te Whiti, Tohu

Te Whiti, Tohu by Colin McCahon

Artwork Detail

Colin McCahon was invited to contribute a painting to the 1972 exhibition Taranaki Saw it All, about the leader Te Whiti-o-Rongomai at Waikato Art Museum. This is one of a series of preparatory works he made for the resulting Parihaka Triptych.

Te Whiti, with his cousin Tohu Kakahi, were visionary prophets and leaders at Parihaka in Taranaki. They urged their followers to protest against the confiscation of lands using pacifist means, such as the removal of survey pegs and ploughing of the land. When the village was invaded in 1881, the forces were met by 2000 seated Māori. Following this, the leaders were incarcerated without trial for two years. (Picturing History, 2009)

Te Whiti, Tohu
Colin McCahon
Production date
synthetic polymer paint on paper on hardboard
852 x 1215 x 32 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of an anonymous donor, 1985
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

To find out which artworks are available for print requests and reproduction please enquire here. This service only applies to select artworks in the Gallery's collection.