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Pomara in London, 1846

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conference contribution
posted on 15.07.2020 by Robin Skinner
Pomara in London, 1846 'The Spectator' declared it to be "the most interesting exhibition of the season." For three months in the London summer of 1846, George French Angas exhibited watercolours and artefacts of New Zealand and South Australia, providing many Europeans with their first detailed exposure to representations of Māori and their material culture. Exhibits of portraits of Māori, and images of pā, as well as examples of weapons, carvings, canoe models, birds and minerals caused many to reassess the disparaging view of Māori that the New Zealand Company had been putting about. However, the greatest contributor to the exhibition’s outstanding success was the striking presence of a young Māori man named Hemi Pomara, or Pōmare, who attended the show each afternoon. He was described as "the orphaned son of a Chatham Islands chief." In 1844 Pōmare travelled with Angas to Sydney, and then to London. Meeting royalty, members of the nobility and learned society, his intelligence and arresting countenance made an exceptional impression of those who met him. His likeness was published in a magazine and he became the subject of a poem. After the exhibition, things did not go so well. Following the exhibition Pōmare found work in shipping; however, the special status which he received in London did not continue. At sea, he was physically assaulted, returning to Sydney in 1847, and then on to New Zealand. This paper discusses Pōmare’s time abroad and his impact on the Europeans.

History

Preferred citation

Skinner, R. (2010, January). Pomara in London, 1846. In Manurere: Travelling Maori, the third annual Toihuarewa Maori research symposium, Wellington (November issue).

Conference name

Manurere: Travelling Maori, the third annual Toihuarewa Maori research symposium

Conference Place

Wellington

Conference start date

12/11/2010

Conference finish date

12/11/2010

Contribution type

Unpublished Paper

Publication or Presentation Year

01/01/2010

Publication status

Unpublished

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