Story: Tangihanga – death customs

'Tangi at Ranana'

'Tangi at Ranana'

Topia Turoa of Whanganui and a kuia mourn for those who have passed on at Rānana on the Whanganui River. The title of this image, 'Tangi at Ranana', refers to how people wept for the dead, rather than a funeral (tangi) ceremony. The fall of tears and possibly mucus is depicted, in accordance with the Māori proverb 'Nā te hūpē me ngā roimata ka ea ai te mate.' (By mucus and tears death is avenged.)

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-041-049
Drawing by James Coutts Crawford

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:

Rawinia Higgins, 'Tangihanga – death customs - Traditional preparations for tangihanga', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 December 2021)

Story by Rawinia Higgins, published 5 May 2011