Samuel Leigh arrived in the Bay of Islands in 1822 to head the country's first Methodist mission at Kaeo, Northland. In this letter, dated 5 April 1822, he describes witnessing the funeral of a child in a tribe of 'heathen' (non-Christian) Māori:
'The parents of the deceased appeared to be very sorrowfull. The Mother had cut herself all over the face, hands and legs to such a degree that she was covered with blood: she sat opposite the intered body with her head bowed down supported with her hands and covered with a matt, and a piece of cloth over her head. Her father said to me that he was very sorry in his heart for the life of his child.'
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
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.