Saturday, May 2, 2015

Images of Taranaki and the NZ land wars.

For most of my career visiting rural schools, as part of my job as a school adviser, I have paid particular attention to  noticing Maori Pa sites and the remnants of European redoubts.
Graet places to climb up to and explore

A European redoubt
Pa site
During my primary schools year we learnt nothing about  the  Land Wars and our learning about Maori culture was limited to a romantic view of pre- European life - and learning stick games with rolled up newspaper and learning string games.

From memory there was nothing about Maori language and the life of present day Maori in our own area.

There were Maori students in our class - I often wonder what they were thinking. At least we were taught the main events in New Zealand history but, as mentioned, not tied to local reality.

At our small district high school ( now closed) we had a teacher who introduced us to the land wars that our town was central to. We visited the site of a major battle where a number of colonial troops lost their lives fighting the Taranaki war chief Titokowaru.

Pa and redoubt

Small painting

As a result of this teacher's enthusiasm I have developed an interest in the land wars and early new Zealand history. Over the years I have explored a number of old pa sites and European redoubts. When I was a teacher  my class followed the excavation of the Omata redoubt.

As a result of my driving around the back country, admiring the landscape and historical sites, I have done a series of drawing to capture my impressions.

I have a feeling they would make great semi-abstract paintings.

No comments:

Post a Comment