Te Aho Te Rangi Wharepu

Te Aho Te Rangi Wharepu (1811-1910), 1907
Charles Frederick Goldie (1870-1947)
Oil on canvas
BORGM 00901
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

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Te Aho Te Rangi Wharepu (1811-1910)

Te Aho Te Rangi Wharepu was a warrior of the Ngati Mahuta who posed regularly for Goldie from 1902 onwards. This powerful portrait shows him aged 97 and manages to convey a sense of both dignity and melancholic wisdom.

He had survived defeat at the Battle of Rangiriri in 1863 when the Colonial Government and its Māori allies invaded the Waikato region of North Island.

Like Harata Rewiri Tarapata, he is adorned with symbols of his rank and status: a fine flax tasselled cloak and a Hei Tiki. He is also wearing two Greenstone ear pendants (kuru). The Māori consider items made from Greenstone to increase in value as they are handed down the generations.

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