George French Angas (After)

Rangihaeata's celebrated house on the island of Mana, called "Kai-Tangata"

Rangihaeata's celebrated house on the island of Mana, called "Kai-Tangata" by George French Angas

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Angas's description:

"PLATE IV.

RANGIHAEATA'S HOUSE ON THE ISLAND

OF MANA, CALLED "KAI TANGATA" (EAT MAN).

THE houses of the New Zealanders are generally collected into villages, fortified with high wooden fences, and supported at intervals by huge carved posts, some of which bear grotesque representations of the human figure; within the enclosure, which, when thus fortified, is termed " E Pa," the houses are grouped about, each family having a court-yard of their own, divided with a slight fence, and connected by stiles leading from the narrow ways that run between the various compartments. Great skill and taste are displayed in the carving and ornaments of the more important buildings, which are generally raised by some chief, either to commemorate a battle, or to shew his proficiency in the art of carving; they are always painted red with Kokowai, an ochre from Taranaki, and the ridge pole, and boards that support the roof, are richly covered with spiral arabesques, in red, white and black. In the specimens of New Zealand architecture still remaining, considerable analogy may be traced to that of ancient Mexico and Hindustan; the doorways are invariably Egyptian in their forms.

The House represented in the Plate is designated by the cannibal name of "Kai tangata," or "eat man"; it was built many years ago by Rangihaeata, the formidable warrior of the Nga-ti-toa tribe, who massacred the Europeans at Wairau Valley. It stands on the small Island of Mana, or Table Island, in Cook's Straits, and is one of the finest specimens of elaborately ornamented dwellings yet extant; most of the carving was executed by Rangihaeata's own hand, and the image supporting the ridge pole is intended to represent himself."

Title
Rangihaeata's celebrated house on the island of Mana, called "Kai-Tangata"
Artist/creator
Production date
1844
Medium
hand-coloured lithograph
Dimensions
245 x 338 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with funds from the M A Serra Trust, 1987
Accession no
1987/16/1
Other ID
1987/16/1/B
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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