AA 8  George French Angas  Guide to Records
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Series List and Summary Descriptions
AA 8  George French Angas

AA8/01

Descriptive Lists of Angas Watercolours

  Quantity 12 Lists
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/02

Australian Watercolours - 'South Australia Illustrated'

  Quantity 17 Watercolours
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/03

Australian Lithographs - 'South Australia Illustrated'

  Quantity 17 Lithographs
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/04

Australian Watercolours - 'Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand '

  Quantity 2 Watercolours
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/05

Australian Watercolours - Unpublished

  Quantity 1 Watercolour
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/06

New Zealand Watercolours - 'New Zealanders Illustrated'

 

In 1844, George French Angas sets foot in New Zealand 75 years after Captain Cook and only 4 years after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. He embarks aboard a schooner in the month of July and spends 6 months visiting Wellington, Porirua, Marlborough Sounds, Auckland, Waikato district, Mokau coast, Upper Wanganui and Taupo. Angas tracked through the countryside either by foot or canoe, recording scientifically by sketching, painting and describing the landscape, the Maori people, their architecture, canoes, weapons, utensils, flora, fauna, food, craft, customs and culture, conscious that the advent of whalers, traders and missionaries arriving since the 1790s impacted upon traditional culture. Retrospectively, Angas writes in the preface of 'The New Zealanders Illustrated' dated 1 July 1846:

'Perhaps at the present moment, no country in the world is more peculiarly interesting than New Zealand; no race of men more singular that its Aboriginal Inhabitants.The position the New Zealanders hold with respect to thousands of our countrymen, and the great change that is daily going on in their physical and social condition, renders it necessary that a more correct idea of them should be obtained at home, than one offered by mere description. Up to the present time, the New Zealander, it is submitted, has never been carefully and faithfully pourtrayed; and his habits, costumes, and works of art, though so rapidly disappearing before the progress of Christianity and Civilisation, are yet unrecorded by the pencil of the artist.

To accomplish this task, I visited both Islands of New Zealand, and spent a considerable period in travelling round their coasts, and penetrating though the interior-by seeking out nearly every tribe of natives, and living amongst them for some time, in the remote and almost unknown parts of the country, I have succeeded in obtaining portraits of the most important Chiefs, with their families, and have made drawings, on the spot, of all objects of interest connected with their history.

I take this opportunity of returning my thanks to Thomas Spencer Forsaith, Esq., the Protector of Aborigines, at Auckland, for his useful assistance on many points connected with the natives, and in procuring me the friendship of several influential Chiefs.

I also return my thanks to the Missionaries, and those Gentlemen at the various settlements from whom I received such polite assistance and attention.'

Whilst Angas's paints a romantic picture in his description, in reality he endured some hardships along the way: hunger, eating rancid food, wading in deep water and mud, sand flies, mosquitoes and ill-health. Curiosity, saw him take risks such as sketching sites considered wahi tapu (sacred). Wahi tapu can be permanent, temporary, tangible or intangible and can be applied to sites, events and people. It provides the spiritual and cultural base of the Maori people and can vary from iwi to iwi (tribe) that had he been caught, he would have incurred the wrath of the local chief. Watercolours that have been identified as wahi tapu, that is restricted from public view due to cultural sensitivities, are labelled as restricted. The process of identifying restricted watercolours is a work in progress managed by Eleazar Bramley of the Taupo Museum in conjunction with the relevant Iwi elders. To date determinations have only been made by the Ngati Tuwharetoa Iwi. Consultation for permission to display images of the watercolours is also in progress.

Not only did Angas use his brush and pencil but collected specimens as well that were described in journal articles and later donated to public institutions.

What follows is an attempt to extract parts of Angas's voyages as described in his 1847 publication 'Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand' and correlate them to the watercolours held in the South Australian Museum. The watercolours form the basis for the lithographs published in 'The New Zealanders Illustrated' (Series 6) and 'Portraits of the New Zealand Maori' (Series 7). Not all the watercolours were published and some of the watercolours are not held by the South Australian Museum. The Inventory Title is the original watercolour title. The inventory listing below, not only relates the watercolours to the lithographs but also notes any variations from the original to the publication. The lithographers included Hawkins, Benjamin Waterhouse (1807-1889), Hawkins, Frances Louisa (nee Keenan, 1839-1868), Giles, James William (1801-1870) and Angas himself.

In 1844, just 7 months after landing in South Australia Angas records:

'One evening in the month of July, whilst sitting in my verandah at Adelaide, I took it into my head to visit New Zealand: a friend had shown me some beautifully ornamented weapons he had brought from thence, and that night I went to bed and dreamed of native pahs [fortified villages] and stately tattooed chiefs. In the morning I was packing up my trunk to go on board a schooner belonging to the South Australian company, which was to sail with a supply of flour for the European settlements in New Zealand.' (p224, Volume 1)

Eight days after leaving port, Wilson's Promontory is sited and in less than 8 days later, the summit of Mount Egmont can be seen in the distance. The very next day, anchor is cast in Port Nicholson (currently, Wellington). Upon disembarkation Angas checks into the Barratt's Hotel. The hotel collapsed in the 1855 earthquake after sustaining damage from the 1848 earthquake. For more on the Barratt's hotel see Bremner, Julie 'Barratt's Hotel: The Victorian Rendezvous' in Hamer, D & Nicholls, R (ed) The Making of Wellington 1800-1914, 1990, Victoria University Press.

'This is the only good hostel in the place, and is the rendezvous for all the gentlemen of Wellington; in fact, it is the exchange, coffee-room, auction-mart, public-house, and general place of meeting and resort for all the merchants, idlers, and speculators with which this settlement abounds: billiards are played without interruption, and liquors and champagne circulate rather too freely for a new colony. The state of society may be inferred, from the not unusual circumstance of the most fashionable of these gentlemen being trundled home in wheelbarrows from a ball, at the late hour of ten in the morning, on two succeeding days.' (p 234, Volume 1)

Angas makes the observation that staples such as milk, butter and meat are expensive, the poorer classes subsisting on pork and potatoes which are purchased from the Maori people. Maori men on the other hand buy muskets, powder and blankets, the women buy dresses, earrings and finery.

On the morning of his landing Angas visits Pipitea pah where he meets Nga Tata, the chief of Pipitea and Kumototo, and the father of E Tako the present chief of Port Nicholson. For several days he visits the local pahs and sketches the local people. Angas, quickly learnt to pay compliments to the highest ranking chief and sketch his portrait first before a slave, child or person of less importance. Without the cooperation of the highest ranking chief then the other members of then iwi (tribe) would not be willing either.

At Port Nicholson Angas sketches:

  • Te Rau (Koterau), daughter of Tariu the chief of Tokaanu in Taupo and E Pupa, sister of E Tako (AA 8/7/6)
  • Ko te Hameme, Ko Patara and Tatu, August 1844 (AA 8/7/8)
  • Abraham Taupo (AA 8/7/9)
  • Hori, Ko Te Waihaki, Te Kauwai and Pihaiti (AA 8/7/7)
  • children at Pitoni (AA 8/6/21)

At Te Aro pah, Angas sketches:

  • Artongna and Tahuna from Queen Charlotte's Sound (AA 8/7/11)
  • E Manu and Taituha from Queen Charlottes Sound (AA 8/7/12)
  • Aitu (AA 8/7/13)

During Angas's last afternoon at Te Aro, Kutia (AA 8/7/3), the wife of Rauparaha and son Ko Katu (Tamihana, Thompson, AA 8/7/2) arrive at Port Nicholson. Kahoki (AA 8/6/5), the daughter of the chief of Roturua Lakes and niece of Rauparaha were also there and she encouraged her relatives to sit for Angas. Angas then sketches Rauparaha (AA 8/7/2) and Hamaiti, Chief of Okahuhu (AA 8/7/3).

Along the shores of the harbour are several villages, the principal of which is Kai Warra-Warra, governed by Chief Te Ringa Kuri. Here Angas sketches Taringa-Kuri's house (AA 8/7/1). Angas pays his next visit to Nga Hauranga, previously governed by the late chief Warepouri, which is 3 miles from Wellington and then onto Petoni which is at the head of the harbour near the entrance to the valley of the Hutt and where E Puni resides. After completing a sketching tour of the local Maori people, Angas sets on foot for the Porirua Harbour. He takes with him Tuarau (Kopai, nephew of Te Rauparaha) son of Na Horua (Tom Street) who they visit on the way. Na Horua is the tohunga (priest) and therefore his body is considered tapu (sacred). At the time of their visit, his recently ill wife, E Wai (AA 8/6/5), was made tapu for 3 days. This meant that everything she touched also became tapu. Breaking tapu was punishable.

Angas proceeds to the mouth of the harbour and arrives at Porirua pah. Nearby is one of Jordy Thoms' residences, a master whaler for more than 20 years. Angas also recounts the Wairau Massacre, which was the first serious clash between the Maori people and the British settlers after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 17 June 1843.

At Porirua, Angas sketches Pu and her three children, Roro, Toa and infant (AA 8/6/9).

Angas arrives at Rangihaeata's pah which is a few hundred yards beyond taupo pah and gives the Chief gifts of tobacco to distract him whilst sketching his portrait. There, Angas finds Rangihaeata's second wife, E Pori (AA 8/6/10) and Hurihanga a tohunga (priest)(AA 8/7/4). Angas crosses by canoe over to the Island of Mana or Table Island with three of Rangihaeata's slaves. After he arrives, Angas notes that the architecture has changed; the previous ornamented wooden huts were replaced by raupo huts. There he sees two elaborately ornamented buildings: Rangihaeata's house called Kai Tangata or Eat man (AA 8/6/3) and the mausoleum of E Tohi (AA 8/6/41), Rauparaha's sister. Angas records:

'Day after day have I spent exploring ruined and tapued pahs, frequently by stealth, searching for these primitive works of an extraordinary and ingenious people. A desire to preserve memorials of the skill and ingenuity of [the Maori people], who themselves ere long may pass away, and become, like their houses, matters of history, induced me to make carefully coloured drawings on the spot of the most curious and characteristic specimens of Maori architecture and carving.' (p266-267, Volume 1)

Angas sketches the interior of a house and two women weaving at Rangihaeata pah (AA 8/6/48 number IV).

At some stage, Angas sketches E Paki and Rangitaurau (AA 8/7/5) at Porirua on 1 September 1844.

No sooner had Angas returned from Porirua that he boards a schooner, and sails to Cloudy Bay, in the South Island. Upon arrival, Angas makes his way to visit Old Thoms, the whaler, situated at Te awa iti, approximately 1 mile up the Tory Channel. He was the first European to discover and enter Port Nicholson. With George Thoms (AA 8/6/8) as his guide they trudged through the hills to find the ruins of Nga ti kahunis pah. There, they encounter a woman, who posed for the portrait with her pig by her side but ‘was wondering, no doubt, what strange art was being practised upon her'. They then visit Okukuri pah sitated just inside the Tory Channel before returning to Te awa ti. There he sketches E Karo and E Kau (AA 8/7/10).

Angas was keen to visit the tomb of Huriwenua (AA 8/6/14), located approximately 6 miles up the Tory Channel, so with Thoms and his children they set sail in Black Charley an Australian Aboriginal person's schooner. Huriwenua's village was wahi tapu as he had only recently died.

Angas leaves Thoms after their return to Cloudy bay and sets sail round the east coast of New Zealand to Auckland, a government town, located in Waitemata harbour. After 8 days, he disembarks and makes his way by foot to Orakai, 6 miles away. On the way to Orokai, the party pass through a potato ground with a cooking shed in one corner of the plantation (AA 8/7/16). There he meets Moana, son of Te Kawaw a principal chief of the Ngati watua, and his cousin Rawhide.

In Orakai, Angas meets with his friend Forsaith, a Protector of Aborigines, who helps influence Te Kawaw and other prominent people to sit for him, including Moana who is the son of Te Kawaw (AA 8/7/14), his nephew Paora, his wife Nga mako, and Rawiti who is the grandson of Kawau (AA 8/7/14). Angas notes that the women in the vicinity of Auckland wear European dress but with a woven mat worn over the top. Angas also sketches Ngeungeu (AA 8/6/2) who is the daughter of Tara (Irirangi) (AA 8/6/24) and the wife of Thomas Maxwell with her son James (AA 8/6/2) and Stephen (AA 8/6/4).

Back in Auckland, Angas stays with his friend Dr Andrew Sinclair, the Colonial Secretary and paints Pomare (AA 8/7/15), the Chief from the Bay of Islands, Nene (Thomas Walker) the Chief of Hokianga and Patuone (see AA 8/6/1), Nene's older brother. At this point Angas, records observations on everyday life such as the introduction of corn by Cook and Maori people no longer weave with flax but buy blankets.

Angas decides to explore the interior of the North Island which is only accessible by foot as the forests are dense, and there are swamps, rivers and precipes to overcome. With Forsaith who was on his way to the British settlement of Taranaki as his companion, they set out on their 800 mile journey in the early spring of 1844, heading up the Waikato River along the Western coast. Angas records:

'But when penetrating the interior and visiting districts of Mokau and Taupo Lakes, I was accompanied only by natives; and during the whole period of my sojourn with the New Zealanders, I invariably experienced both hospitality and protection. My mission amongst them was one of peace: I did not covet their land; and my coming from Europe for the purpose of representing their chiefs and their country was considered by them a compliment. The chiefs readily acceded to my requests, and facilitated the purpose of my journey; and I was everwhere known by the title of Te pakeha no te Kene Ingerangi, or 'The stranger from the Queen of England:' loudly and proudly do my native guides herald my approach to a kainga [settlement] maori with this appellation.' (p2, Volume 2)

Angas continues:

'Clad in our bush costume, but without weapons, and each with a took or long walking-staff in our hands, my fellow-traveller and myself set off in excellent spirits, accompanied by five Maori lads, who carried our baggage; this consisted of bundles of clothing, sketching apparatus, collecting boxes, a small tent, and a basket of provisions: which they severally carried in their pikau or knapsacks, strapped over their shoulders with the leaves of flax. As we passed along, our lads exchanged farewell salutations with their native friends; the latter shouting out, with a long condoling whine, Haere ra! haera ra! which means, Go my friends! Go! This was returned by E noho!' Remain, my friends! Remain!' (p3, Volume 2)

One of the guides and fellow travellers with Forsaith during the Wellington to Auckland overland journey was Akanui, the nephew of Reretawhangawhanga (AA 8/7/19). The watercolour also includes Te Aorere (AA 8/7/19).

After passing through a region of extinct volcanoes, wading through swamps and marshes, skirting the shores of Manukao and wading across the mud flats of the Tamaki River with small crabs biting at their legs, they finally arrive at nightfall, and Angas is offered a flea infested mattress whilst Forsaith sleeps on fern in a barn that belonged to an old Captain who commanded ships in the opium trade. Angas comments that they battle sand flies by day and mosquitoes by night.

On 27 September the travellers arrive at Papakoura, stay for the night and continue on in their journey. They reach a very deep river:

'The lads divested themselves and then waded through the river with their luggage on their heads, water up to their necks. They then returned and carried us across, with our feet resting on one fellows shoulders and our backs on the head of another.' (p11, Volume 2)

The next stop is the settlement of Tuimata where Angas sketches Chief Haimona (Simon) and his wife. Angas claims they both liked his sketch calling it wakapaipai, or ‘beautiful'. Angas also sketches Ramari, Haimona's daughter, and child (AA 8/7/20). Leaving on the following day, they walked several miles and encounter Chief Hiputea/Huiputea (AA 8/7/21) and his son little Hori. (AA 8/7/22) Continuing on their journey they cross the Waikato River and land at Koruakopupu. Angas writes:

'A far different era has dawned upon the descendants of those fierce warriors. The New Zealanders are no longer a fighting people; they find raising supplies for Europeans a far more pleasant and profitable occupation. The good effects arising from the influence of missionaries is apparent, even if civilization had been their only aim. The New Zealanders are an intelligent and interesting race; they have fine minds and good dispositions; and if properly treated; no people could behave better. Much has been foolishly alleged against them, by individuals who are entirely ignorant if the true character and meritorious conduct of many Maories.' (p20, Volume 2)

Here Angas sketches Chief Te Taepa of Te Kaitutae (AA 8/7/23) who was visiting Wirihona (Wilson) at Waipa (AA 8/7/21) and Te Maru (AA 8/6/32), son of a Chief at Koruakopopo. He writes:

'the hospitality of the Maories to strangers is proverbial; travellers are always welcome amongst them. Tobacco is the only money needed for a European in passing through the country; a present of a small quantity of this weed, on leaving, being considered as an ample remuneration for food and shelter; for a fig of tobacco they will furnish a dozen eggs, or a basket of potatoes or kumeras. It is only on the coast, in the vicinity of the European settlements, that the natives require utu, or payment in coin.' (p22, Volume 2)

The party leaves by canoe and land at Kapau before continuing on to a small kainga where they meet the wife of Wirihona who tangi (lamentation) with the wife of an inferior chief (AA 8/6/48 number V). They then go to Kaiote, the pah of the celebrated Te Whero Whero (AA 8/6/35) who is the principal chief of all the Waikato tribes.

'As usual, I explored the remotest concerns of the pah, in search of anything new for my pencil, and seeing a square deal box elevated on posts and covered with a roof raised by means of slender sticks, I was curious to know what it contained; it was evidently tapu and on lifting up the lid I found that is was filled with old garments, which I afterwards learned were the property of a very celebrated person lately deceased, and that these garments had been placed within this wahi tapu under the most rigorous tapu by the tohunga: who would probably have pulled my ears had he discovered me peeping at these scared relics.' (p35, Volume 2)

After a 2 mile walk, they stop at the Residence of Mr Ashwell, a missionary of the Church Missionary Station of Pepepe (butterfly). Ashwell organises sittings for Angas: Te Paki, a chief and his wife (AA 8/7/24); and Te Amotutu (AA 8/6/33), a young chief of Waikato who is related to Te Paki. Angas also paints Ashwell's dying son and one of their domestic servants who they call the Vixen (AA 8/7/25).

On 3 October, they leave in canoes and enter the Waipa which joins the Waikato 3 or 4 miles from Pepepe. After passing Whakapaku and Noterau and landing briefly at Ko Ngahokowitu they head for Hopetui. Here they see Chief Wideona and his family. They also meet a sister of Karaka (Clark, AA 8/6/39) who is the chief of Waikato Heads that Angas sketched in Auckland. Angas shows her the portrait and she tangis with it to her tears come. That evening Wirihona comes into Angas's tent and talks about cannibalism and the supply of shrunken heads to the Europeans. Slaves are killed to keep up with the demand.

At Hopetui, on the banks of the Waipa, Angas sketches two children (AA 8/6/12).

The party journey to Whata Whata where they visit Te Whero Whero (Potatau) and Angas paints his portrait. Te Whero Whero gives Angas a letter of introduction to Te Heuheu Mananui (Tukino) the celebrated chief of Taupo Lake dated 4 Ocotber 1844. The translation is as follows:

'Friend Heuheu, -Health to you! Let your hospitality by very great to this foreigner who is going to see you. Your name has carried him away. He is a writer of images; he belongs to me-to Potatau. Be kind to this European. Take heed you do not despise my book. He is a strange foreigner from England. By me, Your friend, Potatau.' (p52, Volume 2)

The party leave on foot along the Waipa for Waingaroa where they encounter the Wesleyan Missionary's wife, Mrs Wallis, at the mission station. On 7 October, Angas sketched portraits of principal chiefs, including Wiremu Nera (Awaitaia, William Naylor, AA 8/6/4) and Paratene Maioha (Broughton) that had come to meet Forsaith but also wanted their portraits to go to England. They Chiefs were keen to have Europeans amongst them so they offered to sell land to establish a township. Also on the 7th Angas sketches Muriwhenua (John King), his sister Mekameka and wife Haea (AA 8/7/26). At Waingaroa, Angas sketches Wiremu Nera's daughter Toea and her attendant. (AA 8/6/44)

On the way to Aotea, the party call on Chief Te Moanaroa (Tepene, Stephen, AA 8/6/4) who is related to the government interpreter. They continue on their journey stopping briefly at Te Mata where Angas sees an old woman weaving a basket from the leaves of the Freycinetia Banksii (AA 8/6/48 number II) before reaching their destination, the residence of Reverend Mr Smales. There Angas sketches Paora Muriwenua (AA 8/6/42/1). The next stop is the mission station at Ahuahu and residence of Mr Whiteley. Angas notes:

'I was portraying the most important chiefs of the neighbourhood, together with their families; and through the kindness of that gentleman I was enabled to procure likenesses of many who, under ordinary circumstances, would have been difficult to approach. An old chief and tohunga approaches (father of Te Pakaru) who had a large bump on his head. His name was Te Upehi [Te Uepehi, AA 8/7/28].' (p69-70, Volume 2)

At Ahuahu, Angas sketches Nga Niho, wife of Rangituataea (Portrait of Rangituataea is AA 8/7/30) and Nga Whea a chief of Ngati Maniapoto (AA 8/6/27). On 11 October a meeting is held between chiefs including Te Pakaru (Apokia, AA 8/6/36) and Te Waro (Te Waru, AA 8/6/36) and Forsaith. At some stage he paints Te Pakaru's children (AA 8/6/23). Also at Ahuahu, Angas sketches Taituku and Rahi (AA8/7/29).

Angas then heads up the Waiharikiki River and paints Ohu (AA 8/6/30/1), tohunga of the Waiharikiki River and Chief Rangituatea who was wounded in the battle of Taranaki. He also sketches burial site of Chief Pehi at Te Pahe (AA 8/7/27).

On 14 October Angas parts company with Forsaith. He writes:

'From Ahuahu my companion and myself prepare to start on separate routes mine striking at once into the very heart of the interior, through the wild region of Mokau and Wanganui to the Taupo Lakes. Forsaith who had proved a most agreeable and intelligent companion during the journey to Ahuahu, left in Apokea's canoe, accompanied by his four lads, whilst another canoe conveyed my party in an opposite direction across the harbour. My travelling companions now consisted of my two natives, E Pera, who was a Nga Puifrom the Bay of Islands, and E Rihia, a mission lad of Waipa, belonging to the Ngati Apakura tribe; we were also joined by a couple of natives proceeding homewards to Wakatumutumu.' (p74, Volume 2)

The party cross the Marakopo river, visit Piri-piri which is occupied by locals who have become Jesuits, shown the foot prints of the Whatumaui, crosses the river Wahuatakawau and arrives at Warikaokao. On 16 October, the party head for Mania where Angas sketches Chief Ngohi (AA 8/7/31) and his principal wife who was under tapu. A boy that had been travelling with Angas was a son of Ngohi and remained there. Angas then leaves with Ngohi's eldest son and journey to Whakatumutumu, arriving at 4 pm. There they encounter the missionary and his wife named Miller. Angas sketches Chief Te Ngaporutu (AA 8/6/26) who had converted to Christianity and his wife Rihe (AA 8/6/26).

The party then proceed to Pari-pari, where Angas sketches a whare (AA 8/7/36), by first crossing the Waipa and seeing Mokau falls. Upon arrival at 4pm that day, they meet Lewis who is married to the daughter of Taonui, the principal chief of the district and successor to Tariki. They also meet Chief Taonui (AA 8/7/32) who wears a flute around his neck made from one of the leg bones of his enemy Pomare. He has in his possession the original suit of armour that was given to the Bay of Island Chief, Shongi (E hongi) by King George IV when he was in England. The suit of armour passed onto Tetori, then Te Whero Whero and then Taonui himself. Angas also sketched Tariki's widow (AA 8/6/41) and child.

On 21 October, Angas continues with only his two 'lads' for Taupo. On the same day they reach Pouketouto where they stayed with an inferior chief, family and slaves. He sketches one of the aged slave women (AA 8/6/45 number XIV). On the next day they sail down the Wanganui River and travel through the volcanic region.

On 23 October the party leave at sunrise and reach Tuhua where the people are Christianised and receiving instruction from Mr Maunsell who is a local teacher rather than a missionary. At Tuhua, Angas sketches Te Te Mara (Son of Brown) and another child (AA 8/7/33). The next day the party leave Tuhua and arrive at Tereinga where Angas finds the Taupo Chief Te Rangiarawaha (Rawide, AA 8/734). After sketching the Chief, the party crosses River Teringamutu and arrive at a village. Angas delivers a letter from Taonui, the Chief of Mokau, asking if one of his relatives could guide the party across country to Taupo Lake.

With the new guide the party see Mount Tongariro, Ruapahu and Tauhara, Lake Taupo, Tihiwihiwi before reaching the Taupo settlement of Te Rapa. There they encounter Hiwikau, brother of Te Heuheu (Mananui, Tukino) the warrior chief and his son Tamiti. A letter of introduction is delivered to Te Heuheu from Te Whero Whero. Angas also encounters Newman, a sailor who served onboard one of his father's vessels employed in the West India trade.

'During my stay at Taupo, I frequently experienced considerable trouble when sketching, from the prevalence of the tapu; so many objects being regarded as sacred: anything relating to food, if presented with the same pencil that depicted the head of the sacred chief, or put in the same portfolio with it, is considered as sad and fearful sacrilege. The whole of my sketches narrowly escaped being committed to the flames, through the indignation of Ko Tariu (AA 8/6/34) watercolour includes his wife E Pori); and they were only rescued by the influence of my friend, the chief of Te Heuheu. I was obliged in future to make drawings if the patukas, tapu buildings, &c., by stealth. Even the Tongariro itself was forbidden to represent under the pain of utu, or payment; but I afterwards accomplished it with the assistance of one of my guides, who was a Christianised native. But he received every hospitality and protection.' (p112, Volume 2)

Whilst in Te Rapa, Angas visits the natural hot spring baths, the Ko Waihi falls (AA 8/6/11) and witnesses a Maori swing (AA 8/6/43). Angas paints Te HeuHeu (AA 8/6/46)and his brother Hiwikau (AA 8/6/46).

'The idea that his portrait was going to England flattered him and made him proud. Now that I have secured the portrait of this great man, I have access to all the chiefs of Taupo, and candidates for sitters are increasingly numerous and importunate. Being under the protection of Te Heuheu, he has tapued the hut in which I am staying, together with all m y things; so that no one can meddle with them, and they are as safe as if they were in the Bank. Te Heuheu is generous and hospitable and does not demand payment in return.' (p115, Volume 2)

At the boiling springs of Lake Taupo, Angas sketches Papuka (nephew of Te Heuheu), Ko Tiki (son of a Tokaanu chief) and Tao (AA 8/6/13).

Angas leaves Te Rapa accompanied only by Rihia, a Wesleyan, as E Pera had lamed himself. Te heuheu gives Angas permission to visit Motupoi pah but was told not to sketch Mount Tongariro as it was tapu. Angas disobeys the order and sketches the mountain without Rihia knowing. By this time Anags was running low on supplies:

'My only remaining supplies are about a tablespoon of salt, which I highly prize, and a couple of ounces of tea! No flour, sugar, bread, butter, or any comforts of civilised life. Yet I am quite contented and happy; though by no means insensible to such privations: on returning to civilisation I shall probably appreciate and enjoy those luxuries more than many who never experienced the want of them.' (p123, Volume 2)

On 30 October, Angas sketches Mungakahu (AA 8/6/18) and his wife (AA 8/6/18) at Roto-aire, at the base of Mount Tongariro. Angas sketches the mountain once again without Rihia knowing before returning to Te Papa. Upon his arrival, Angas and Newman head to Waitahanui, the old pah of Te Heuheu which is now in ruins, by canoe. Angas hides his tapu sketches from Te Heuhue who would have destroyed them. At Waitahanui, Angas sketches Heuheu's cookhouses (AA 8/7/16) and a whare (AA 8/7/39).

Angas and party then leave for Omurua where E Pera tells Angas that his hands are tapu after sketching the head of Te Heuheu so Angas threatens to burn all his sketches and E Pera threatens to inform the chief by letter. Although in this instance, Angas is frustrated by the custom of tapu, on other occasions he turns it to his own advantage. When the people taunt Angas to show him his sketches, he tells them that they are all tapu.

Angas's next stop is Tutukamauna where there are Christians belonging to the Waipa Mission. At this time Angas was ‘seized with a violent influenza' and hungry as the supplies had long been exhausted.

On 4 November Chief Pilate and his wife accompanies Angas for a few miles on their way to a potato ground. Along the way, Angas sees the Ruatahina mountains and swims across the River Mungakino.

On 6 November, the party arrive at the church missionary station at Otawhao and are greeted by Rev. J Morgan and his wife. The missionary not only tends to the local's spirituality but tends to the sick as well. Mrs Morgan is called mother as her advice, aid and care is sought after.

Angas ventures to the ruins of Raroera, four miles from Otawhao, where examples of the elaborately ornamented architecture still remains. One of the finest is the mausoleum erected by Te Whero Whero in honour of his favourite daughter (AA 8/6/6), Pari Hori and her son Tawera (AA 8/7/35). The mausoleum was carved by Parinui, who is also a priest, with the head of a bayonet. Nearby is a carved tiki painted in kokowai (red ochre, AA 8/6/49).

Back at the mission station, Angas encounters Blind Solomon (Horomona Marahau, AA 8/6/19) who recounts his early life and exploits as a warrior including the battle where he fought against E Hongi who had brought back firearms and gunpowder from England. Horomona managed to escape after he was captured; 600 people were slaughtered. Soon after he met Rev. H Williams at Matamata and converted to Christianity. Also at Matamata, Angas sketches Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi (William Thompson, AA 8/7/38).

A short distance from the mission house is the old ruined pah of Otawhao. There Angas encounters Maketu House (AA 8/6/16) that was built by Chief Puata in commemoration of the taking of maketu and the old war bell (pahu, AA 8/6/16, AA 8/6/47 number XIII). At Ngahuruhuru, a settlement about 4 miles from Otawhao Angas sketches Chief Kahawai (AA 8/6/42/2) and Hongi Hongi (AA 8/6/7) the celebrated Taranaki warrior.

On 11 November, Angas leaves for the Waipa River with Mr Morgan's horse and 'lad' Ringi-ringi. At 4 miles they meet Mr Ashwell from Pepepe who was coming to Otawhao to procure medicine for a dying child. They traverse the plains of Matuketuke before reaching Whatawhata at 2pm on 12 November. There they see Te Whero whero and sketches Mokerau. Angas writes:

'being pressed for time, I was unable to paint the two other chiefs named in Mr Morgan's note (AA 8/7/41); and one of them a fine fellow, and a near relation of Te Whero Whero-stood upon the high bank of the river, as our canoe pushed off, shaking his tomahawk at me, and upbraiding me for not taking his portrait as well as that of Mokerau. Mokerau is the principal chief of Otawhao. And a convert to Chrisitianity. Last winter he went, accompanied only by Awaitaia or William Naylor (AA 8/6/4) of Waingaroa, into the midst of his enemies at Roturua; with whom he had waged a deadly war for nine years, which had not been concluded. The object of this bold and singular mission was to produce a good feeling and conclude the war; and it had the desired effect.' (p156, Volume 2)

The party leave Whatawahta, spend the night at Pepepe and proceed down river to Tuakau the next morning. There they are joined by a Christian Chief Moses, his wife, son and two females, one of which was a slave girl and they all proceed down the river together. Along the way they see Te paki and his wife. The party reach Tuakau on 13 November and the proceed on foot to Waitemata. On 14 November they leave Moses and his canoe at Tuakau and reach Tuimata, the kainga of Chief Haimona and spend the night.

On 15 November the party for Auckland, stopping to see Captain Smale at Papakoura on the way. They reach Auckland after travelling 35 miles on foot. The next day, E Pera left to go on to the Bay of Islands and Rihia returned to Waipa. Angas writes:

'The payment which I made each of them consisted of a couple of large blankets, a regatta shirt, and a pair of trousers, with which they were highly delighted and perfectly satisfied.' (p161, Book 2)

In late November, a few days after Angas’s arrival at Auckland, he sets sail for Sydney, New South Wales, on board the brigantine, Coolongatta bringing with him a maori youth of about 13 years of age called James Pomara, son of chief who was orphaned after a raid. The next morning they disembark at Kauwau, where they were detained for several days to load copper ore, owned by the Scottish Loan Company.

On 7 December, Angas and Pomare embark once again and set sail for the Bay of Islands. Three days later they cast anchor at Kororarika Beach. Angas notes at Pahia, opposite the bay, are the headquarters of the Church Mission in New Zealand, the dwelling of Mr Busby the late Government resident situated near the Waitangi (Weeping of the Waters) River. At Kororarika is the head quarters of the Jesuit Mission and the Catholic chapel of the Bishop Pompalier.

On 12 December, Angas and Pomare set sail for New South Wales, casting anchor in Sydney Cove on 30 December. On New Years Day they embarked aboard the brig Emma for Adelaide, South Australia. On 10 September 1845, Angas and Pomare ser sail on the Royal Tar for England. After a short stop on Rio De Janeiro on the way, they land in Dover on 22 February 1846 and arrives in Gravesend on the 23rd.

The watercolours were first exhibited from 18 to 20 June 1845 in the new legislative chamber on North Tce, by the permission and patronage of Governor Grey from 10am-4pm, admission 1 shilling. Catalogues were available for 6d each. A month later the works were exhibited in the Royal hotel in Sydney. In England, Angas exhibits his work on the 17 March 1846 at the 5th soiree of the British and Foreign Institution. Two days later the exhibition of 300 works open in the Egyptian hall in Piccadilly for three months.
The watercolours were reproduced as an imperial folio series of coloured plates titled 'The New Zealanders Illustrated', issued in 10 parts from 1846 to 1847 at one guinea each. 'Portraits of the New Zealand Maori' was first published in 1972 by A.H. and A.W. Reed Ltd.

  Date Range 1844
Quantity 60 cm, 49 Watercolours
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/07

New Zealand Watercolours - 'Portraits of the New Zealand Maori'

 

In 1844, George French Angas sets foot in New Zealand 75 years after Captain Cook and only 4 years after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. He embarks aboard a schooner in the month of July and spends 6 months visiting Wellington, Porirua, Marlborough Sounds, Auckland, Waikato district, Mokau coast, Upper Wanganui and Taupo. Angas tracked through the countryside either by foot or canoe, recording scientifically by sketching, painting and describing the landscape, the Maori people, their architecture, canoes, weapons, utensils, flora, fauna, food, craft, customs and culture, conscious that the advent of whalers, traders and missionaries arriving since the 1790s impacted upon traditional culture. Retrospectively, Angas writes in the preface of 'The New Zealanders Illustrated' dated 1 July 1846:

'Perhaps at the present moment, no country in the world is more peculiarly interesting than New Zealand; no race of men more singular that its Aboriginal Inhabitants.The position the New Zealanders hold with respect to thousands of our countrymen, and the great change that is daily going on in their physical and social condition, renders it necessary that a more correct idea of them should be obtained at home, than one offered by mere description. Up to the present time, the New Zealander, it is submitted, has never been carefully and faithfully pourtrayed; and his habits, costumes, and works of art, though so rapidly disappearing before the progress of Christianity and Civilisation, are yet unrecorded by the pencil of the artist.

To accomplish this task, I visited both Islands of New Zealand, and spent a considerable period in travelling round their coasts, and penetrating though the interior-by seeking out nearly every tribe of natives, and living amongst them for some time, in the remote and almost unknown parts of the country, I have succeeded in obtaining portraits of the most important Chiefs, with their families, and have made drawings, on the spot, of all objects of interest connected with their history.

I take this opportunity of returning my thanks to Thomas Spencer Forsaith, Esq., the Protector of Aborigines, at Auckland, for his useful assistance on many points connected with the natives, and in procuring me the friendship of several influential Chiefs.

I also return my thanks to the Missionaries, and those Gentlemen at the various settlements from whom I received such polite assistance and attention.'

Whilst Angas's paints a romantic picture in his description, in reality he endured some hardships along the way: hunger, eating rancid food, wading in deep water and mud, sand flies, mosquitoes and ill-health. Curiosity, saw him take risks such as sketching sites considered wahi tapu (sacred). Wahi tapu can be permanent, temporary, tangible or intangible and can be applied to sites, events and people. It provides the spiritual and cultural base of the Maori people and can vary from iwi to iwi (tribe) that had he been caught, he would have incurred the wrath of the local chief. Watercolours that have been identified as wahi tapu, that is restricted from public view due to cultural sensitivities, are labelled as restricted. The process of identifying restricted watercolours is a work in progress managed by Eleazar Bramley of the Taupo Museum in conjunction with the relevant Iwi elders. To date determinations have only been made by the Ngati Tuwharetoa Iwi. Consultation for permission to display images of the watercolours is also in progress.

Not only did Angas use his brush and pencil but collected specimens as well that were described in journal articles and later donated to public institutions.

What follows is an attempt to extract parts of Angas's voyages as described in his 1847 publication 'Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand' and correlate them to the watercolours held in the South Australian Museum. The watercolours form the basis for the lithographs published in 'The New Zealanders Illustrated' (Series 6) and 'Portraits of the New Zealand Maori' (Series 7). Not all the watercolours were published and some of the watercolours are not held by the South Australian Museum. The Inventory Title is the original watercolour title. The inventory listing below, not only relates the watercolours to the lithographs but also notes any variations from the original to the publication. The lithographers included Hawkins, Benjamin Waterhouse (1807-1889), Hawkins, Frances Louisa (nee Keenan, 1839-1868), Giles, James William (1801-1870) and Angas himself.

In 1844, just 7 months after landing in South Australia Angas records:

'One evening in the month of July, whilst sitting in my verandah at Adelaide, I took it into my head to visit New Zealand: a friend had shown me some beautifully ornamented weapons he had brought from thence, and that night I went to bed and dreamed of native pahs [fortified villages] and stately tattooed chiefs. In the morning I was packing up my trunk to go on board a schooner belonging to the South Australian company, which was to sail with a supply of flour for the European settlements in New Zealand.' (p224, Volume 1)

Eight days after leaving port, Wilson's Promontory is sited and in less than 8 days later, the summit of Mount Egmont can be seen in the distance. The very next day, anchor is cast in Port Nicholson (currently, Wellington). Upon disembarkation Angas checks into the Barratt's Hotel. The hotel collapsed in the 1855 earthquake after sustaining damage from the 1848 earthquake. For more on the Barratt's hotel see Bremner, Julie 'Barratt's Hotel: The Victorian Rendezvous' in Hamer, D & Nicholls, R (ed) The Making of Wellington 1800-1914, 1990, Victoria University Press.

'This is the only good hostel in the place, and is the rendezvous for all the gentlemen of Wellington; in fact, it is the exchange, coffee-room, auction-mart, public-house, and general place of meeting and resort for all the merchants, idlers, and speculators with which this settlement abounds: billiards are played without interruption, and liquors and champagne circulate rather too freely for a new colony. The state of society may be inferred, from the not unusual circumstance of the most fashionable of these gentlemen being trundled home in wheelbarrows from a ball, at the late hour of ten in the morning, on two succeeding days.' (p 234, Volume 1)

Angas makes the observation that staples such as milk, butter and meat are expensive, the poorer classes subsisting on pork and potatoes which are purchased from the Maori people. Maori men on the other hand buy muskets, powder and blankets, the women buy dresses, earrings and finery.

On the morning of his landing Angas visits Pipitea pah where he meets Nga Tata, the chief of Pipitea and Kumototo, and the father of E Tako the present chief of Port Nicholson. For several days he visits the local pahs and sketches the local people. Angas, quickly learnt to pay compliments to the highest ranking chief and sketch his portrait first before a slave, child or person of less importance. Without the cooperation of the highest ranking chief then the other members of then iwi (tribe) would not be willing either.

At Port Nicholson Angas sketches:

  • Te Rau (Koterau), daughter of Tariu the chief of Tokaanu in Taupo and E Pupa, sister of E Tako (AA 8/7/6)
  • Ko te Hameme, Ko Patara and Tatu, August 1844 (AA 8/7/8)
  • Abraham Taupo (AA 8/7/9)
  • Hori, Ko Te Waihaki, Te Kauwai and Pihaiti (AA 8/7/7)
  • children at Pitoni (AA 8/6/21)

At Te Aro pah, Angas sketches:

  • Artongna and Tahuna from Queen Charlotte's Sound (AA 8/7/11)
  • E Manu and Taituha from Queen Charlottes Sound (AA 8/7/12)
  • Aitu (AA 8/7/13)

During Angas's last afternoon at Te Aro, Kutia (AA 8/7/3), the wife of Rauparaha and son Ko Katu (Tamihana, Thompson, AA 8/7/2) arrive at Port Nicholson. Kahoki (AA 8/6/5), the daughter of the chief of Roturua Lakes and niece of Rauparaha were also there and she encouraged her relatives to sit for Angas. Angas then sketches Rauparaha (AA 8/7/2) and Hamaiti, Chief of Okahuhu (AA 8/7/3).

Along the shores of the harbour are several villages, the principal of which is Kai Warra-Warra, governed by Chief Te Ringa Kuri. Here Angas sketches Taringa-Kuri's house (AA 8/7/1). Angas pays his next visit to Nga Hauranga, previously governed by the late chief Warepouri, which is 3 miles from Wellington and then onto Petoni which is at the head of the harbour near the entrance to the valley of the Hutt and where E Puni resides. After completing a sketching tour of the local Maori people, Angas sets on foot for the Porirua Harbour. He takes with him Tuarau (Kopai, nephew of Te Rauparaha) son of Na Horua (Tom Street) who they visit on the way. Na Horua is the tohunga (priest) and therefore his body is considered tapu (sacred). At the time of their visit, his recently ill wife, E Wai (AA 8/6/5), was made tapu for 3 days. This meant that everything she touched also became tapu. Breaking tapu was punishable.

Angas proceeds to the mouth of the harbour and arrives at Porirua pah. Nearby is one of Jordy Thoms' residences, a master whaler for more than 20 years. Angas also recounts the Wairau Massacre, which was the first serious clash between the Maori people and the British settlers after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 17 June 1843.

At Porirua, Angas sketches Pu and her three children, Roro, Toa and infant (AA 8/6/9).

Angas arrives at Rangihaeata's pah which is a few hundred yards beyond taupo pah and gives the Chief gifts of tobacco to distract him whilst sketching his portrait. There, Angas finds Rangihaeata's second wife, E Pori (AA 8/6/10) and Hurihanga a tohunga (priest)(AA 8/7/4). Angas crosses by canoe over to the Island of Mana or Table Island with three of Rangihaeata's slaves. After he arrives, Angas notes that the architecture has changed; the previous ornamented wooden huts were replaced by raupo huts. There he sees two elaborately ornamented buildings: Rangihaeata's house called Kai Tangata or Eat man (AA 8/6/3) and the mausoleum of E Tohi (AA 8/6/41), Rauparaha's sister. Angas records:

'Day after day have I spent exploring ruined and tapued pahs, frequently by stealth, searching for these primitive works of an extraordinary and ingenious people. A desire to preserve memorials of the skill and ingenuity of [the Maori people], who themselves ere long may pass away, and become, like their houses, matters of history, induced me to make carefully coloured drawings on the spot of the most curious and characteristic specimens of Maori architecture and carving.' (p266-267, Volume 1)

Angas sketches the interior of a house and two women weaving at Rangihaeata pah (AA 8/6/48 number IV).

At some stage, Angas sketches E Paki and Rangitaurau (AA 8/7/5) at Porirua on 1 September 1844.

No sooner had Angas returned from Porirua that he boards a schooner, and sails to Cloudy Bay, in the South Island. Upon arrival, Angas makes his way to visit Old Thoms, the whaler, situated at Te awa iti, approximately 1 mile up the Tory Channel. He was the first European to discover and enter Port Nicholson. With George Thoms (AA 8/6/8) as his guide they trudged through the hills to find the ruins of Nga ti kahunis pah. There, they encounter a woman, who posed for the portrait with her pig by her side but ‘was wondering, no doubt, what strange art was being practised upon her'. They then visit Okukuri pah sitated just inside the Tory Channel before returning to Te awa ti. There he sketches E Karo and E Kau (AA 8/7/10).

Angas was keen to visit the tomb of Huriwenua (AA 8/6/14), located approximately 6 miles up the Tory Channel, so with Thoms and his children they set sail in Black Charley an Australian Aboriginal person's schooner. Huriwenua's village was wahi tapu as he had only recently died.

Angas leaves Thoms after their return to Cloudy bay and sets sail round the east coast of New Zealand to Auckland, a government town, located in Waitemata harbour. After 8 days, he disembarks and makes his way by foot to Orakai, 6 miles away. On the way to Orokai, the party pass through a potato ground with a cooking shed in one corner of the plantation (AA 8/7/16). There he meets Moana, son of Te Kawaw a principal chief of the Ngati watua, and his cousin Rawhide.

In Orakai, Angas meets with his friend Forsaith, a Protector of Aborigines, who helps influence Te Kawaw and other prominent people to sit for him, including Moana who is the son of Te Kawaw (AA 8/7/14), his nephew Paora, his wife Nga mako, and Rawiti who is the grandson of Kawau (AA 8/7/14). Angas notes that the women in the vicinity of Auckland wear European dress but with a woven mat worn over the top. Angas also sketches Ngeungeu (AA 8/6/2) who is the daughter of Tara (Irirangi) (AA 8/6/24) and the wife of Thomas Maxwell with her son James (AA 8/6/2) and Stephen (AA 8/6/4).

Back in Auckland, Angas stays with his friend Dr Andrew Sinclair, the Colonial Secretary and paints Pomare (AA 8/7/15), the Chief from the Bay of Islands, Nene (Thomas Walker) the Chief of Hokianga and Patuone (see AA 8/6/1), Nene's older brother. At this point Angas, records observations on everyday life such as the introduction of corn by Cook and Maori people no longer weave with flax but buy blankets.

Angas decides to explore the interior of the North Island which is only accessible by foot as the forests are dense, and there are swamps, rivers and precipes to overcome. With Forsaith who was on his way to the British settlement of Taranaki as his companion, they set out on their 800 mile journey in the early spring of 1844, heading up the Waikato River along the Western coast. Angas records:

'But when penetrating the interior and visiting districts of Mokau and Taupo Lakes, I was accompanied only by natives; and during the whole period of my sojourn with the New Zealanders, I invariably experienced both hospitality and protection. My mission amongst them was one of peace: I did not covet their land; and my coming from Europe for the purpose of representing their chiefs and their country was considered by them a compliment. The chiefs readily acceded to my requests, and facilitated the purpose of my journey; and I was everwhere known by the title of Te pakeha no te Kene Ingerangi, or 'The stranger from the Queen of England:' loudly and proudly do my native guides herald my approach to a kainga [settlement] maori with this appellation.' (p2, Volume 2)

Angas continues:

'Clad in our bush costume, but without weapons, and each with a took or long walking-staff in our hands, my fellow-traveller and myself set off in excellent spirits, accompanied by five Maori lads, who carried our baggage; this consisted of bundles of clothing, sketching apparatus, collecting boxes, a small tent, and a basket of provisions: which they severally carried in their pikau or knapsacks, strapped over their shoulders with the leaves of flax. As we passed along, our lads exchanged farewell salutations with their native friends; the latter shouting out, with a long condoling whine, Haere ra! haera ra! which means, Go my friends! Go! This was returned by E noho!' Remain, my friends! Remain!' (p3, Volume 2)

One of the guides and fellow travellers with Forsaith during the Wellington to Auckland overland journey was Akanui, the nephew of Reretawhangawhanga (AA 8/7/19). The watercolour also includes Te Aorere (AA 8/7/19).

After passing through a region of extinct volcanoes, wading through swamps and marshes, skirting the shores of Manukao and wading across the mud flats of the Tamaki River with small crabs biting at their legs, they finally arrive at nightfall, and Angas is offered a flea infested mattress whilst Forsaith sleeps on fern in a barn that belonged to an old Captain who commanded ships in the opium trade. Angas comments that they battle sand flies by day and mosquitoes by night.

On 27 September the travellers arrive at Papakoura, stay for the night and continue on in their journey. They reach a very deep river:

'The lads divested themselves and then waded through the river with their luggage on their heads, water up to their necks. They then returned and carried us across, with our feet resting on one fellows shoulders and our backs on the head of another.' (p11, Volume 2)

The next stop is the settlement of Tuimata where Angas sketches Chief Haimona (Simon) and his wife. Angas claims they both liked his sketch calling it wakapaipai, or ‘beautiful'. Angas also sketches Ramari, Haimona's daughter, and child (AA 8/7/20). Leaving on the following day, they walked several miles and encounter Chief Hiputea/Huiputea (AA 8/7/21) and his son little Hori. (AA 8/7/22) Continuing on their journey they cross the Waikato River and land at Koruakopupu. Angas writes:

'A far different era has dawned upon the descendants of those fierce warriors. The New Zealanders are no longer a fighting people; they find raising supplies for Europeans a far more pleasant and profitable occupation. The good effects arising from the influence of missionaries is apparent, even if civilization had been their only aim. The New Zealanders are an intelligent and interesting race; they have fine minds and good dispositions; and if properly treated; no people could behave better. Much has been foolishly alleged against them, by individuals who are entirely ignorant if the true character and meritorious conduct of many Maories.' (p20, Volume 2)

Here Angas sketches Chief Te Taepa of Te Kaitutae (AA 8/7/23) who was visiting Wirihona (Wilson) at Waipa (AA 8/7/21) and Te Maru (AA 8/6/32), son of a Chief at Koruakopopo. He writes:

'the hospitality of the Maories to strangers is proverbial; travellers are always welcome amongst them. Tobacco is the only money needed for a European in passing through the country; a present of a small quantity of this weed, on leaving, being considered as an ample remuneration for food and shelter; for a fig of tobacco they will furnish a dozen eggs, or a basket of potatoes or kumeras. It is only on the coast, in the vicinity of the European settlements, that the natives require utu, or payment in coin.' (p22, Volume 2)

The party leaves by canoe and land at Kapau before continuing on to a small kainga where they meet the wife of Wirihona who tangi (lamentation) with the wife of an inferior chief (AA 8/6/48 number V). They then go to Kaiote, the pah of the celebrated Te Whero Whero (AA 8/6/35) who is the principal chief of all the Waikato tribes.

'As usual, I explored the remotest concerns of the pah, in search of anything new for my pencil, and seeing a square deal box elevated on posts and covered with a roof raised by means of slender sticks, I was curious to know what it contained; it was evidently tapu and on lifting up the lid I found that is was filled with old garments, which I afterwards learned were the property of a very celebrated person lately deceased, and that these garments had been placed within this wahi tapu under the most rigorous tapu by the tohunga: who would probably have pulled my ears had he discovered me peeping at these scared relics.' (p35, Volume 2)

After a 2 mile walk, they stop at the Residence of Mr Ashwell, a missionary of the Church Missionary Station of Pepepe (butterfly). Ashwell organises sittings for Angas: Te Paki, a chief and his wife (AA 8/7/24); and Te Amotutu (AA 8/6/33), a young chief of Waikato who is related to Te Paki. Angas also paints Ashwell's dying son and one of their domestic servants who they call the Vixen (AA 8/7/25).

On 3 October, they leave in canoes and enter the Waipa which joins the Waikato 3 or 4 miles from Pepepe. After passing Whakapaku and Noterau and landing briefly at Ko Ngahokowitu they head for Hopetui. Here they see Chief Wideona and his family. They also meet a sister of Karaka (Clark, AA 8/6/39) who is the chief of Waikato Heads that Angas sketched in Auckland. Angas shows her the portrait and she tangis with it to her tears come. That evening Wirihona comes into Angas's tent and talks about cannibalism and the supply of shrunken heads to the Europeans. Slaves are killed to keep up with the demand.

At Hopetui, on the banks of the Waipa, Angas sketches two children (AA 8/6/12).

The party journey to Whata Whata where they visit Te Whero Whero (Potatau) and Angas paints his portrait. Te Whero Whero gives Angas a letter of introduction to Te Heuheu Mananui (Tukino) the celebrated chief of Taupo Lake dated 4 Ocotber 1844. The translation is as follows:

'Friend Heuheu, -Health to you! Let your hospitality by very great to this foreigner who is going to see you. Your name has carried him away. He is a writer of images; he belongs to me-to Potatau. Be kind to this European. Take heed you do not despise my book. He is a strange foreigner from England. By me, Your friend, Potatau.' (p52, Volume 2)

The party leave on foot along the Waipa for Waingaroa where they encounter the Wesleyan Missionary's wife, Mrs Wallis, at the mission station. On 7 October, Angas sketched portraits of principal chiefs, including Wiremu Nera (Awaitaia, William Naylor, AA 8/6/4) and Paratene Maioha (Broughton) that had come to meet Forsaith but also wanted their portraits to go to England. They Chiefs were keen to have Europeans amongst them so they offered to sell land to establish a township. Also on the 7th Angas sketches Muriwhenua (John King), his sister Mekameka and wife Haea (AA 8/7/26). At Waingaroa, Angas sketches Wiremu Nera's daughter Toea and her attendant. (AA 8/6/44)

On the way to Aotea, the party call on Chief Te Moanaroa (Tepene, Stephen, AA 8/6/4) who is related to the government interpreter. They continue on their journey stopping briefly at Te Mata where Angas sees an old woman weaving a basket from the leaves of the Freycinetia Banksii (AA 8/6/48 number II) before reaching their destination, the residence of Reverend Mr Smales. There Angas sketches Paora Muriwenua (AA 8/6/42/1). The next stop is the mission station at Ahuahu and residence of Mr Whiteley. Angas notes:

'I was portraying the most important chiefs of the neighbourhood, together with their families; and through the kindness of that gentleman I was enabled to procure likenesses of many who, under ordinary circumstances, would have been difficult to approach. An old chief and tohunga approaches (father of Te Pakaru) who had a large bump on his head. His name was Te Upehi [Te Uepehi, AA 8/7/28].' (p69-70, Volume 2)

At Ahuahu, Angas sketches Nga Niho, wife of Rangituataea (Portrait of Rangituataea is AA 8/7/30) and Nga Whea a chief of Ngati Maniapoto (AA 8/6/27). On 11 October a meeting is held between chiefs including Te Pakaru (Apokia, AA 8/6/36) and Te Waro (Te Waru, AA 8/6/36) and Forsaith. At some stage he paints Te Pakaru's children (AA 8/6/23). Also at Ahuahu, Angas sketches Taituku and Rahi (AA8/7/29).

Angas then heads up the Waiharikiki River and paints Ohu (AA 8/6/30/1), tohunga of the Waiharikiki River and Chief Rangituatea who was wounded in the battle of Taranaki. He also sketches burial site of Chief Pehi at Te Pahe (AA 8/7/27).

On 14 October Angas parts company with Forsaith. He writes:

'From Ahuahu my companion and myself prepare to start on separate routes mine striking at once into the very heart of the interior, through the wild region of Mokau and Wanganui to the Taupo Lakes. Forsaith who had proved a most agreeable and intelligent companion during the journey to Ahuahu, left in Apokea's canoe, accompanied by his four lads, whilst another canoe conveyed my party in an opposite direction across the harbour. My travelling companions now consisted of my two natives, E Pera, who was a Nga Puifrom the Bay of Islands, and E Rihia, a mission lad of Waipa, belonging to the Ngati Apakura tribe; we were also joined by a couple of natives proceeding homewards to Wakatumutumu.' (p74, Volume 2)

The party cross the Marakopo river, visit Piri-piri which is occupied by locals who have become Jesuits, shown the foot prints of the Whatumaui, crosses the river Wahuatakawau and arrives at Warikaokao. On 16 October, the party head for Mania where Angas sketches Chief Ngohi (AA 8/7/31) and his principal wife who was under tapu. A boy that had been travelling with Angas was a son of Ngohi and remained there. Angas then leaves with Ngohi's eldest son and journey to Whakatumutumu, arriving at 4 pm. There they encounter the missionary and his wife named Miller. Angas sketches Chief Te Ngaporutu (AA 8/6/26) who had converted to Christianity and his wife Rihe (AA 8/6/26).

The party then proceed to Pari-pari, where Angas sketches a whare (AA 8/7/36), by first crossing the Waipa and seeing Mokau falls. Upon arrival at 4pm that day, they meet Lewis who is married to the daughter of Taonui, the principal chief of the district and successor to Tariki. They also meet Chief Taonui (AA 8/7/32) who wears a flute around his neck made from one of the leg bones of his enemy Pomare. He has in his possession the original suit of armour that was given to the Bay of Island Chief, Shongi (E hongi) by King George IV when he was in England. The suit of armour passed onto Tetori, then Te Whero Whero and then Taonui himself. Angas also sketched Tariki's widow (AA 8/6/41) and child.

On 21 October, Angas continues with only his two 'lads' for Taupo. On the same day they reach Pouketouto where they stayed with an inferior chief, family and slaves. He sketches one of the aged slave women (AA 8/6/45 number XIV). On the next day they sail down the Wanganui River and travel through the volcanic region.

On 23 October the party leave at sunrise and reach Tuhua where the people are Christianised and receiving instruction from Mr Maunsell who is a local teacher rather than a missionary. At Tuhua, Angas sketches Te Te Mara (Son of Brown) and another child (AA 8/7/33). The next day the party leave Tuhua and arrive at Tereinga where Angas finds the Taupo Chief Te Rangiarawaha (Rawide, AA 8/734). After sketching the Chief, the party crosses River Teringamutu and arrive at a village. Angas delivers a letter from Taonui, the Chief of Mokau, asking if one of his relatives could guide the party across country to Taupo Lake.

With the new guide the party see Mount Tongariro, Ruapahu and Tauhara, Lake Taupo, Tihiwihiwi before reaching the Taupo settlement of Te Rapa. There they encounter Hiwikau, brother of Te Heuheu (Mananui, Tukino) the warrior chief and his son Tamiti. A letter of introduction is delivered to Te Heuheu from Te Whero Whero. Angas also encounters Newman, a sailor who served onboard one of his father's vessels employed in the West India trade.

'During my stay at Taupo, I frequently experienced considerable trouble when sketching, from the prevalence of the tapu; so many objects being regarded as sacred: anything relating to food, if presented with the same pencil that depicted the head of the sacred chief, or put in the same portfolio with it, is considered as sad and fearful sacrilege. The whole of my sketches narrowly escaped being committed to the flames, through the indignation of Ko Tariu (AA 8/6/34) watercolour includes his wife E Pori); and they were only rescued by the influence of my friend, the chief of Te Heuheu. I was obliged in future to make drawings if the patukas, tapu buildings, &c., by stealth. Even the Tongariro itself was forbidden to represent under the pain of utu, or payment; but I afterwards accomplished it with the assistance of one of my guides, who was a Christianised native. But he received every hospitality and protection.' (p112, Volume 2)

Whilst in Te Rapa, Angas visits the natural hot spring baths, the Ko Waihi falls (AA 8/6/11) and witnesses a Maori swing (AA 8/6/43). Angas paints Te HeuHeu (AA 8/6/46)and his brother Hiwikau (AA 8/6/46).

'The idea that his portrait was going to England flattered him and made him proud. Now that I have secured the portrait of this great man, I have access to all the chiefs of Taupo, and candidates for sitters are increasingly numerous and importunate. Being under the protection of Te Heuheu, he has tapued the hut in which I am staying, together with all m y things; so that no one can meddle with them, and they are as safe as if they were in the Bank. Te Heuheu is generous and hospitable and does not demand payment in return.' (p115, Volume 2)

At the boiling springs of Lake Taupo, Angas sketches Papuka (nephew of Te Heuheu), Ko Tiki (son of a Tokaanu chief) and Tao (AA 8/6/13).

Angas leaves Te Rapa accompanied only by Rihia, a Wesleyan, as E Pera had lamed himself. Te heuheu gives Angas permission to visit Motupoi pah but was told not to sketch Mount Tongariro as it was tapu. Angas disobeys the order and sketches the mountain without Rihia knowing. By this time Anags was running low on supplies:

'My only remaining supplies are about a tablespoon of salt, which I highly prize, and a couple of ounces of tea! No flour, sugar, bread, butter, or any comforts of civilised life. Yet I am quite contented and happy; though by no means insensible to such privations: on returning to civilisation I shall probably appreciate and enjoy those luxuries more than many who never experienced the want of them.' (p123, Volume 2)

On 30 October, Angas sketches Mungakahu (AA 8/6/18) and his wife (AA 8/6/18) at Roto-aire, at the base of Mount Tongariro. Angas sketches the mountain once again without Rihia knowing before returning to Te Papa. Upon his arrival, Angas and Newman head to Waitahanui, the old pah of Te Heuheu which is now in ruins, by canoe. Angas hides his tapu sketches from Te Heuhue who would have destroyed them. At Waitahanui, Angas sketches Heuheu's cookhouses (AA 8/7/16) and a whare (AA 8/7/39).

Angas and party then leave for Omurua where E Pera tells Angas that his hands are tapu after sketching the head of Te Heuheu so Angas threatens to burn all his sketches and E Pera threatens to inform the chief by letter. Although in this instance, Angas is frustrated by the custom of tapu, on other occasions he turns it to his own advantage. When the people taunt Angas to show him his sketches, he tells them that they are all tapu.

Angas's next stop is Tutukamauna where there are Christians belonging to the Waipa Mission. At this time Angas was ‘seized with a violent influenza' and hungry as the supplies had long been exhausted.

On 4 November Chief Pilate and his wife accompanies Angas for a few miles on their way to a potato ground. Along the way, Angas sees the Ruatahina mountains and swims across the River Mungakino.

On 6 November, the party arrive at the church missionary station at Otawhao and are greeted by Rev. J Morgan and his wife. The missionary not only tends to the local's spirituality but tends to the sick as well. Mrs Morgan is called mother as her advice, aid and care is sought after.

Angas ventures to the ruins of Raroera, four miles from Otawhao, where examples of the elaborately ornamented architecture still remains. One of the finest is the mausoleum erected by Te Whero Whero in honour of his favourite daughter (AA 8/6/6), Pari Hori and her son Tawera (AA 8/7/35). The mausoleum was carved by Parinui, who is also a priest, with the head of a bayonet. Nearby is a carved tiki painted in kokowai (red ochre, AA 8/6/49).

Back at the mission station, Angas encounters Blind Solomon (Horomona Marahau, AA 8/6/19) who recounts his early life and exploits as a warrior including the battle where he fought against E Hongi who had brought back firearms and gunpowder from England. Horomona managed to escape after he was captured; 600 people were slaughtered. Soon after he met Rev. H Williams at Matamata and converted to Christianity. Also at Matamata, Angas sketches Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi (William Thompson, AA 8/7/38).

A short distance from the mission house is the old ruined pah of Otawhao. There Angas encounters Maketu House (AA 8/6/16) that was built by Chief Puata in commemoration of the taking of maketu and the old war bell (pahu, AA 8/6/16, AA 8/6/47 number XIII). At Ngahuruhuru, a settlement about 4 miles from Otawhao Angas sketches Chief Kahawai (AA 8/6/42/2) and Hongi Hongi (AA 8/6/7) the celebrated Taranaki warrior.

On 11 November, Angas leaves for the Waipa River with Mr Morgan's horse and 'lad' Ringi-ringi. At 4 miles they meet Mr Ashwell from Pepepe who was coming to Otawhao to procure medicine for a dying child. They traverse the plains of Matuketuke before reaching Whatawhata at 2pm on 12 November. There they see Te Whero whero and sketches Mokerau. Angas writes:

'being pressed for time, I was unable to paint the two other chiefs named in Mr Morgan's note (AA 8/7/41); and one of them a fine fellow, and a near relation of Te Whero Whero-stood upon the high bank of the river, as our canoe pushed off, shaking his tomahawk at me, and upbraiding me for not taking his portrait as well as that of Mokerau. Mokerau is the principal chief of Otawhao. And a convert to Chrisitianity. Last winter he went, accompanied only by Awaitaia or William Naylor (AA 8/6/4) of Waingaroa, into the midst of his enemies at Roturua; with whom he had waged a deadly war for nine years, which had not been concluded. The object of this bold and singular mission was to produce a good feeling and conclude the war; and it had the desired effect.' (p156, Volume 2)

The party leave Whatawahta, spend the night at Pepepe and proceed down river to Tuakau the next morning. There they are joined by a Christian Chief Moses, his wife, son and two females, one of which was a slave girl and they all proceed down the river together. Along the way they see Te paki and his wife. The party reach Tuakau on 13 November and the proceed on foot to Waitemata. On 14 November they leave Moses and his canoe at Tuakau and reach Tuimata, the kainga of Chief Haimona and spend the night.

On 15 November the party for Auckland, stopping to see Captain Smale at Papakoura on the way. They reach Auckland after travelling 35 miles on foot. The next day, E Pera left to go on to the Bay of Islands and Rihia returned to Waipa. Angas writes:

'The payment which I made each of them consisted of a couple of large blankets, a regatta shirt, and a pair of trousers, with which they were highly delighted and perfectly satisfied.' (p161, Book 2)

In late November, a few days after Angas’s arrival at Auckland, he sets sail for Sydney, New South Wales, on board the brigantine, Coolongatta bringing with him a maori youth of about 13 years of age called James Pomara, son of chief who was orphaned after a raid. The next morning they disembark at Kauwau, where they were detained for several days to load copper ore, owned by the Scottish Loan Company.

On 7 December, Angas and Pomare embark once again and set sail for the Bay of Islands. Three days later they cast anchor at Kororarika Beach. Angas notes at Pahia, opposite the bay, are the headquarters of the Church Mission in New Zealand, the dwelling of Mr Busby the late Government resident situated near the Waitangi (Weeping of the Waters) River. At Kororarika is the head quarters of the Jesuit Mission and the Catholic chapel of the Bishop Pompalier.

On 12 December, Angas and Pomare set sail for New South Wales, casting anchor in Sydney Cove on 30 December. On New Years Day they embarked aboard the brig Emma for Adelaide, South Australia. On 10 September 1845, Angas and Pomare ser sail on the Royal Tar for England. After a short stop on Rio De Janeiro on the way, they land in Dover on 22 February 1846 and arrives in Gravesend on the 23rd.

The watercolours were first exhibited from 18 to 20 June 1845 in the new legislative chamber on North Tce, by the permission and patronage of Governor Grey from 10am-4pm, admission 1 shilling. Catalogues were available for 6d each. A month later the works were exhibited in the Royal hotel in Sydney. In England, Angas exhibits his work on the 17 March 1846 at the 5th soiree of the British and Foreign Institution. Two days later the exhibition of 300 works open in the Egyptian hall in Piccadilly for three months.
The watercolours were reproduced as an imperial folio series of coloured plates titled 'The New Zealanders Illustrated', issued in 10 parts from 1846 to 1847 at one guinea each. 'Portraits of the New Zealand Maori' was first published in 1972 by AH and AW Reed Ltd.

  Date Range 1844
Quantity 30 cm, 43 Watercolours
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/08

New Caledonian Watercolours

  Quantity 1 Watercolour
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/09

South African Watercolours

  Quantity 19 Watercolours
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/10

Copy Photographs and Negatives of Original Watercolours

  Quantity 157 Photographs/Negatives
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/11

Glass Plate Negative

  Quantity 1 Negative
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/12

Photographs of Watercolours not held in the South Australian Museum Collection

  Quantity 2 Photographs
Provenance George French Angas

AA8/13

Display Labels

  Quantity 2 Labels
Provenance George French Angas