Story: Cards, board games and puzzles

Māori playing cards, 1840s

Māori playing cards, 1840s

British naval officer Richard Aldworth commanded the survey vessel Fly in New Zealand and the Pacific from 1847 to 1851. A keen amateur artist, he made many drawings and watercolours of the Māori he encountered, including this scene of four card-players outside a thatched house. From their intent manner, it appears that card games were already a popular pastime among Māori in this early period of European colonisation.

Using this item

National Library of Australia
Reference: nla.pic-an2963587
Watercolour by Richard Aldworth Oliver

Permission of the National Library of Australia must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Cards, board games and puzzles - Māori use of games', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 February 2024)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 Sep 2013