Story: Tangihanga – death customs



This 1864 image by Horatio Robley shows Ngāi Te Rangi women mourning over the spear – possibly a poorly drawn taiaha – of a warrior killed in battle. The spear had been returned by one of his comrades, probably because they could not carry his body back. The women have cut (haehae) their arms and their blood falls on the spear.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-080-015
Ink and watercolour by Horatio Gordon Robley

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 - The tangihanga process', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 June 2021)

Story by Rawinia Higgins, published 5 May 2011