Story: Ideas about Māori origins

European interpretations (1st of 2)

European interpretations

The artist James Alexander fought in the New Zealand wars. In his 1861 watercolour two Māori are dressed in North African uniforms, with blue fezzes and knickerbockers. This type of uniform was never adopted by Māori soldiers, and the depiction is an example of how readily Europeans placed Māori into different contexts.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-113-033
Watercolour by James Edward Alexander

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

K. R. Howe, 'Ideas about Māori origins - 1840s–1930s: the Aryan theory', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 June 2022)

Story by K. R. Howe, published 8 Feb 2005