Ngāti Mahuta (c. 1825-1894)
IWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS
Tukaroto Matutaera Potatau Te Wherowhero Tawhiao, the second
Māori king, is clearly presented by Lindauer as a leading rangatira, with full-facial moko, huia
ear ornament and a kahu kiwi (kiwi feather cloak).
The original source for this painting is a photographic portrait
taken by the Sydney photographer Henry King in 1884. At this time
Tawhiao was en route to England, leading a deputation of Māori
leaders to petition Queen Victoria for the honouring of the Treaty
of Waitangi, as well as seeking to establish an independent
commission of inquiry into the confiscations of Māori land. Tawhiao
sat for two photographs in Henry King's studio, but was recorded in
contemporary European attire, without feathers, and with a pounamu
positioned. Although Lindauer often adjusted the contents of his
photographic sources, at times incorporating elements from other
photographs into his paintings for greater effect, the inclusion of
the kahu kiwi and huia feathers is appropriate for such a
Tawhiao was an important and visionary leader, and extremely
well-known even to Pākēha New Zealanders at this time - this fine
portrait would have found a ready buyer. Although the early history
of this painting is not known, it was gifted to Christchurch Art
Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu in 1964.
Ken Hall, Assistant Curator, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o
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Contributed story - King Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero
Wiremu Puke on
3 December 2010
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I have a story about "King Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero".
Your curator is factually incorrect in his reference that King
Tuheitia was wearing a kiwi korowai ( cloak) at his coronation in
2006. In fact he wasn't. He wore a kaitaka cloak with a pureki rain
cape over it due to his size. I suggest you view the NZ Herald
photos taken on August 21st 2006.