Kiwi expats were raving about the public presentation Hongi, Waikato and the King of England delivered by Director Brent Kerehona at Raven Row, London, on Thursday, 3rd October 2019. This focused on the 1820 journey to England, by Hongi Hika, Waikato and the CMS missionary Thomas Kendall, the director's research and comparison of three carved wooden busts (one of which is held at the Brighton Museum) purported to be of Hongi himself, as well as the woven flax cloak (held by The British Museum) which Hongi personally gifted King George IV.
It was an honour to co-present with tohunga raranga (master weaver) Rae Midwood, after collaborating on research project Hongi's Kakahu (Hongi's cloak) at The British Museum earlier that day. Rae spoke about her project He Taonga Tuku Iho (treasures handed down), where her goal is for every Maori home to have their own kakahu.
We would like to thank Jo Walsh and her UK-based team from the New Zealand Studies Network, in*ter*is*land Collective and MOKU, for their fantastic manaakitanga; it was a privilege to have the opportunity to share my research and findings.