Story: Māori architecture – whare Māori

Māori village, 1840

Māori village, 1840

This unidentified Māori kāinga (village) was drawn by the French naval artist Louis Sainson during explorer Dumont d'Urville's third voyage around New Zealand in 1839–40. Unusually, most of the buildings have round roofs, although a more common gable-roofed building is visible at the extreme left. All of the buildings in this illustration are small, with doorways so low they can only be entered by crawling. These were standard features of Māori dwellings before the influence of European settlement. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PUBL-0034-2-347
Engraving by Louis Auguste de Sainson

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:

Deidre Brown, 'Māori architecture – whare Māori - First Māori buildings', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 3 December 2023)

Story by Deidre Brown, published 22 Oct 2014