IWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS
Te Paea Hinerangi was a famous guide in the Rotorua thermal area
from the 1870s on. It is said that she saw a 'phantom canoe'
foretelling the eruption of Mount Tarawera in the week before it
happened in 1886.1
Te Paea (Sophia) was the daughter of Kotiro Hinerangi (Ngāti
Ruanui) and Scotsman Alexander Grey (Gray). Born in
Kororareka (Russell), she was the fourth of five children. Te
Paea married twice, firstly to Koroneho Tehakiroe (Ngāpuhi) with
whom she is said to have had 14 children, and secondly in about
1870 to Hori Taiawhio with whom she had a further three
Te Paea relocated from the Bay of Islands to the village of Te
Wairoa, on the shores of Lake Tarawera soon after the time of her
second marriage. Here she became known as Guide Sophia. She
was bilingual and was a tourist guide for 16 years before the
famous volcanic eruption that wiped out the renowned silica
Terraces.3 Though a photograph
exists of her partially-buried whare she was celebrated for her kindness in
sheltering over 60 others in it.
After the devastation at Te Wairoa all the survivors of the
eruption including Te Paea and her family relocated to Rotorua's
main thermal attraction, Whakarewarewa. In 1896, when her
portrait was painted by Lindauer she was appointed guide to the
thermal reserve there.
In this portrait Te Paea wears a heitiki that is
likely to have been her own (rather than the painter's) as it is a
female form and appears in other photographs of her.
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