1921-0001-1 Dr. Featherston and the Maori Chiefs, Wi Tako and Te Puni 1857-58, Beetham, William.

1921-0001-1 Dr. Featherston and the Maori Chiefs, Wi Tako and Te Puni 1857-58.

This painting depicts Dr. Isaac Featherston together with Wi Tako Ngatata and his uncle Honiana Te Puni. In reality Featherston, seen here wearing his New Zealand Cross, was a man of small physical stature. Wi Tako is represented as a man in his ‘middle’ years. Honiana Te Puni, now advanced in years, was so highly regarded by Sir George Grey, Governor of New Zealand, that Grey asked him if he would be one of his two heralds during his Knighthood ceremony. The other herald was the indomitable Ngā Puhi chief, Eruera Maihi Patuone.

3 Responses

  1. Toby Clark

    Kia ora, My name is Toby and I am the 3rd great-grandson of William Beetham the portrait artist who painted this picture. Yesterday I met in London the Rarotongan princess Myra Love. Myra is the 3rd great-granddaughter of Chief Wi Tako Ngatata and 4th-great granddaughter of Chief Honiana Te Puni. It was an honour and a thrill to meet Myra some 157 years after Myra’s distinguished ancestors stood and posed for my ancestor to paint them. Amazing…

    Reply
    • Matiu

      Hi Toby
      Thank you for sharing your wonderful and fortuitous chance meeting with Myra. Or was it chance? We recently had an exhibition of William Beetham’s works here in Wellington titled “Te Rū Movers and Shakers” at the NZ Portrait Gallery. I was fortunate enough to attend the opening, which was well attended by descendants from both the Beetham and Love families. If you’re ever in Wellington Toby do make sure to come and see the original of that portrait here in Te Papa – but do give us some advance notice so we can try and ensure to have staff in place to accommodate you. All the best from Aotearoa NZ.

      Mauri ora
      Matiu
      Curator Maori

  2. misslove

    The girl whos portrait hangs above Wi Takos casket is his other daughter Merenia who died at a young age. His other daughter Te Amo Josephine is my great great grandmother. Kia ora.

    Reply

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