Gottfried Lindauer 1839-1926
Huria Matenga 1909
Ngati Tama, Te Ati Awa
Oil on canvas 1210 x 960mm
Purchased by public subscription in 1910
Photograph: Michael McArthur
Reproduced with the kind permission of Heather and Lynton
The portrait is a memorial
to a New Zealand heroine. When the brigantine Delaware
came to grief on the rocks at Whakapuaka, near Nelson,
it was the local Maori community who came to the rescue.
Together with Hemi Matenga and Hohapata Kahupuku, Huria
swam out through thunderous seas and succeeded in securing
a rope from the ship to rocks. Huria, heroine of Whakapuaka,
was named the 'Grace Darling of New Zealand'. Huria
Matenga died at Whakapuaka in 1909, at the age of 68.
Her tangi was attended by over 2000 people, both Maori
and Pakeha, marking her importance in both worlds.
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