The siege of Ōrākau, which took place in 1864, is now remembered for the heroic last-ditch defence by Kīngitanga supporters under the leadership of Ngāti Maniapoto chief Rewi Maniapoto. Pioneer filmmaker Rudall Hayward made two film versions of Rewi’s last stand – a silent one released in 1925 and a sound version in 1940. This poster advertises the latter, which was partly funded by the Te Awamutu Historical Society. Members also acted some of the roles. The poster recalls one of the events of the siege, when the British offered the women and children a chance to leave the pā. One of the women defenders, Ahumai Te Paerata, stood up and said: ‘If our husbands and brothers are to die what profit is it to us that we should live? Let us die with the men.’
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Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Hayward Collection
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