Story: Tangihanga – death customs

Tangi, Mataatua, 1907

Tangi, Mataatua, 1907

This is the tangi of Te Whenuanui at Mataatua in 1907. His body lies in a tent, surrounded by mourners. Te Whenuanui was a respected rangatira and carver from Ngāi Tūhoe. During the New Zealand wars he fought against government forces. He was at the battle of Ōrākau fighting alongside Rewi Maniapoto. Because of the tapu nature of death, the tūpāpaku (corpse) would often lie in a temporary shelter.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Blue Album
Reference: PA1-o-042-42-1

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:

Rawinia Higgins, 'Tangihanga – death customs - Traditional preparations for tangihanga', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 December 2021)

Story by Rawinia Higgins, published 5 May 2011