Rare Maori Chief Tawhai Mohi was treaty signatory cdv labelled back G W Bishop Auckland


Rare Maori chief Mohi Tawhai CDV cloaked


Though this cdv is not identified it is maori Chief Mohi [Mohi Tawhai]in cloak and appears in other cdv images with this same cloak wrap.

To the back is a Photographer G W Bishop Auckland applied, I don’t often see these labels attached.

Tāwhai – later known as Mohi (Moses) Tāwhai – was born around 1806. His father was Tāmaha. Tāwhai had at least two wives, one of whom was Rāwinia Hine-i-koaia (also known as Hārata or Charlotte), with whom he had a son, Hōne Mohi Tāwhai. Associated with Waimā in southern Hokianga, Tāwhai told one European visitor: ‘There I was born, and there I wish to die, and leave my children to inherit my land.’ [1]

Small in stature, Tāwhai was described as ‘having an eye of fire, sinews of steel, and the tongue of an orator; his natural force is not abated.’ [2] Respected as an arbiter in disputes, he intervened when Moka was believed to be trespassing on land in southern Hokianga. In response to a Te Rarawa taua, Tāwhai composed a unique peace haka with the Reverend H. H. Lawry, and violence was averted. Tāwhai marked the event by carving a taiaha, known as the ‘taiaha of peace’, as a gift to Lawry.

Mohi Tāwhai signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi at Mangungu on 12 February 1840. During the discussions before the signing, Tāwhai questioned the authority of the governor and whether he could ‘stop all the lands from falling into the hands of the Pakehas.’ He uttered the much quoted line: ‘Our sayings will sink to the bottom like a stone, but your sayings will float light, like the wood of the Whau-tree.’ [6]

During the 1845–46 Northern Wars, Mohi Tāwhai allied with the British forces. In 1875 he died after falling from his horse outside the Wesleyan church he had just attended. He was around seventy years of age.

Chief Mohi actually lived on Kawau island for a time with Sir George Grey  and Grey donated to the Auckland library in 1877 his own collection of documents and photographs.Most of these will bear an Auckland Library stamp and I have one of these currently of Chief Mohi  Tawhai]

:::::::Auckland photographer 1860s. Possibly George Wesley Bishop, who arrived in New Zealand around 1863 and married in Auckland on 6 May 1866. He was in the Thames area from around 1868 to 1879, later becoming a chemist. He was later murdered in San Franciso in 1887 [Source: Auckland photographers database]


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