Ngā Rangatira  - Noble leaders 

I started out this year researching my husbands whakapapa ancestry.

On discovering some incredible images, one of which was his Great Great Great Grandmother (1846-1921), I felt inspired to bring some of these dignified historical NZ characters back to life.  

I work with very old Carte de Visite from the late 1800’s to create my larger than life portraits.  Working with "very small" and "very old" image sourcing requires a lot of extended research and skill due to the lack of information available in the image source.


While I was in the thick of working through my research for this series I had a very profound, almost disturbing and most memorable dream of being walked amongst these people….. My husband felt I had penetrated the sacred Iwi on a spiritual level…. I believe I was being confronted about my intentions of what I was doing.


In my research the NZ Wars (1845-1872), particularly the Invasion of The Waikato seemed most significant. As did beliefs and ancient religions, particularly The Ringatu ( the “Uplifted Hand”) religion, derived from the Old Testament.


Te Minita a Minister, is an early days Maori Minister The Rev. Karaka Terawhiti, of Ngati-Whawhakia. He was associated in English Church missionary work in the Waikato before the war.

Rangatira, a Chieftain, a warrior of the Wars, fighting for his land. The strength, emotion and mana can be seen in his disdainful smoulder, inspiring me to bring these dignified heroes back to life.

This body of work Ngā Rangatira, has become  an illustration of noble people from our historical NZ community, capturing those who stood up for what they believed in, as a people of NZ.  

© 2017 by Sharon Duymel

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