Story: Ngā pakanga ki tāwāhi – Māori and overseas wars

The spirit of his fathers, December 1915

The spirit of his fathers, December 1915

This cartoon by William Blomfield, 'The spirit of his fathers', appeared in the Christmas issue of the New Zealand Observer in 1915. The image reflects the good reputation the Māori Contingent built up by their actions at Gallipoli – and evokes the Māori belief that tīpuna (ancestors) guide the actions of their descendants. Tribes who had been allies of the Crown in the past, such as Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou and Ngāpuhi, were most inclined to volunteer for the war. Tribes that had fought the Crown and suffered land confiscation, such as the Taranaki, Tainui and Tūhoe peoples, produced few volunteers.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-312-1-088
Cartoon by William Blomfield

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:

Monty Soutar, 'Ngā pakanga ki tāwāhi – Māori and overseas wars - Māori and the First World War', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/cartoon/36677/the-spirit-of-his-fathers-december-1915 (accessed 15 December 2019)

Story by Monty Soutar, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 May 2016