Story: Arts and the nation

Drawing of Rewi Maniapoto (1st of 3)

Drawing of Rewi Maniapoto

This drawing of Rewi Maniapoto (here called Rewi Manga) illustrated 'Orakau', a poem by Thomas Bracken in his 1890 book, Musings in Maoriland. The poem described Rewi's famous reply at the battle of Ōrākau in 1864: 'Ka whawhai tonu mātou, ake, ake, ake!’ (We shall fight on forever!). The poem begins, 'Three hundred swarthy braves at Orakau', which, in the use of the word 'brave', suggests Bracken's dependence on American models. Bracken's volume was intended to commemorate New Zealand's golden jubilee (50th anniversary) in 1890, and included a number of poems with Māori subject matter such as 'The march of Te Rauparaha'. The illustration was by E. K. Mair, better known by her maiden name of Kate Sperrey, who had married Gilbert Mair, the commander of Te Arawa forces in the New Zealand wars. 

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Thomas Bracken, Musings in Maori-land. Dunedin: Arthur T. Keirle, 1890, facing p.160
Artwork by E.K. Mair

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Arts and the nation - Cultural nationalism, 1890 to 1910', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/45005/drawing-of-rewi-maniapoto (accessed 23 October 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014