A gift fit for a King - an examination of Hongi's kakahu...
The Director and Co-Director visited The British Museum today, to carry out a detailed examination of Hongi Hika's woven flax cloak; which he personally gifted to King George IV on their meeting at Carlton House on November 13, 1820.
Hongi's Kakahu: Rangatira to Royalty is a research project which focuses on the meeting between Hongi, Waikato and the King, the practice of 'tuku' or reciprocal gifting, and a detailed examination of the kakahu itself. The resulting works will be an academic journal article and possibly a re-constructed kakahu.
We would like to acknowledge Tohunga Raranga (Master Weaver) Rae Midwood and her tauira (student) and research assistant Louise Broadman for their assistance with our examination of Hongi's kakahu, their knowledge and support throughout this kaupapa was invaluable. We would also like to thank Dr Gaye Sculthorpe (Senior Curator and Head of Section - Oceania) and Jill Hassell (curator - collections) for access to this wonderful taonga and for the manaakitanga shown to us during our visit