Story: Te hauora Māori i mua – history of Māori health

Māori warrior

Māori warrior

This engraving of a Māori warrior from Poverty Bay is from a drawing by artist Sydney Parkinson from October 1769, just days after the first European landing in New Zealand. The warrior's clothing (a kahu kurī or dogskin cloak), his adornment of feathers, a heru (comb), and rei puta (whale tooth necklaces), and his weapons – a patu or mere (club) and tewhatewha (a long-handled weapon) distinguish him as a rangatira. His height and build show that many Māori were tall and muscular in pre-European times.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PUBL-0037-15
Hand-coloured engraving after a drawing by Sydney Parkinson

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:

Raeburn Lange, 'Te hauora Māori i mua – history of Māori health - Pre-European health', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 July 2022)

Story by Raeburn Lange, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2018