Zoom in to see details of this watercolour from about 1827. It shows a Bay of Islands village headed by a woman of mana named Tōrere, seen seated under her verandah. Her people have recently returned from a raiding party, and the severed heads of two of their victims have been presented to Tōrere on short sticks. The head was traditionally the most tapu part of the body, and its hair and other adornments were therefore powerful signs of status and pride. At left, the mana of a group of captives is being destroyed as they suffer the humiliation of having their heads shaved.
Using this item
National Library of Australia, Rex Nan Kivell Collection
Watercolour by Augustus Earle
Permission of the National Library of Australia must be obtained before any re-use of this image.