Close message Scootle will stop supporting resources that use the Adobe Flash plug-in from 18 Dec 2020. Learning paths that include these resources will have alerts to notify teachers and students that one or more of the resources will be unavailable. Click here for more info.

Image War dance in 1851

TLF ID R2834

This is a watercolour painting created by the military artist Captain T J Grant in 1851. The image shows a Mäori woman holding a mere pounamu (greenstone hand weapon) and leading six male Mäori warriors in a war dance. The first male warrior holds a tewhatewha (a close combat weapon around 2 metres long); the second, fourth and fifth warriors hold upturned rifles; the third holds a taiaha (a long club around 2 metres in length); and the sixth holds a toki kakauroa (an axe head fixed to a long-handled shaft). All the male warriors have full facial moko (tattoo). The work measures 18.8 cm x 31.6 cm and is signed and dated in the lower right corner with pencil 'T J G/1851'. 'War dance' is written in pencil at the bottom centre.



Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset indicates that women led war dances - in this case a haka puremu (fierce ritualised dance to demand retribution for an act of adultery) is being performed; the haka (fierce ritualised dance) was in most instances led and performed by men.
  • It shows that women held positions of high rank - the female in this image is holding a mere pounamu, a symbol of power and influence that would not have been used by a person who did not command respect.
  • It indicates that Mäori warriors used a range of weapons - this image shows three types of weapons.
  • It reveals that Mäori used European weapons - three of the warriors are holding rifles, which are upturned to look like tewhatewha.
  • It is an example of the work of Captain T J Grant, a military artist who went to New Zealand to record Mäori warfare strategies and whose importance as a recorder of general aspects of Mäori society in the 19th century is now recognised.

Other details

Contributors
  • Content provider
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Remarks: Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Author
  • Date of contribution: 1851
  • Name: T J Grant
  • Remarks: artist
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: New Zealand Lottery Grants Board
  • Remarks: Purchased 1995 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
  • Publisher
  • Date of contribution: 30 Aug 2013
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning resource type
  • Image
Browsers
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
  • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
  • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
Operating systems
  • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
  • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
Rights
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements