IWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS
Renata Kawepo's chiefly mother was Te Pakapaka and his father
was Tumanokia. His ancestral name was Tama ki Hikurangi and his
Christian name Renata (Leonard) was given to him when he was
baptised in Waimate North in 1837. He married Maora and they had a
son who died at six years of age.
Kawepo was a generous leader who held great mana
over the expansive rohe of Heretaunga. He was
also famous for wearing a patch over his eye lost in a skirmish at
a Te Porere, in the heartland of Tongāriro.
In 1865 at the taking of Te Porere, Kawepo was clubbed from
behind by a young woman from Taupo, the widow of Paurini, a chief
who had been killed during the attack on the pā.
In revenge for her husband's death she gouged out Kawepo's right
eye. Kawepo held onto her until help arrived, and would not allow
his people to harm her; he considered that she had acted correctly,
and later married her.1 In
1881 in later life he would return to the Tongariro to take in the
therapeutic waters of the hot springs to relieve his rheumatics.2
In February 1878 Renata took his two race-horses to compete in
the Wellington Cup race day. The horses were named Otupai and
Tawera.3 He also entered his
horses at race meetings in Hawkes Bay, Napier, Masterton,
Rangitikei and Havelock.
Photographer Samuel Carnell collected portraits by Lindauer
including those of Renata Kawepo and Ana Rupene.4 It is likely that Lindauer
based his 1855 painting of Kawepo using a Carnell photograph.
Renata Kawepo died at Omahu on 20 April 1888.
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