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Kapua Whakarito (Budding Cloud) early nineteenth century?

Nephrite | 41.8 x 10.2 x 2.5 cm (whole object) | RCIN 37065

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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  • A Maori greenstone mere (flattened club-shaped weapon), pierced for a string handle. A mere is a hand club carried in a warrior's flax belt. It is a treasured heirloom, passed from generation to generation, and owned only by those Chiefs of highest standing. Chief Paora Rerepu Te Urupu's forebears had used the mere to fight the incoming Europeans; he hoped it would now assist in a campaign to bring Europeans and Maoris together, facing and overcoming life's challenges and difficulties.

    Presented to Queen Elizabeth II by Canon Hamiora Rangiihu, on behalf of Chief Paora Rerepu Te Urupu, during a private audience at Buckingham Palace, 2 December 1964.

    The mere originally belonged to the Ngāi Tūhoe community in the Bay of Plenty, and was given to an elder of the Ngāi Kahungunu people in Hawke's Bay as a symbol of peace between them after conflict in the early nineteenth century. Having achieved this purpose, a later custodian of the mere, Chief Paora Rerepu Te Urupu, felt that 'it should now go further affield to secure and preserve the beace between Maori and Europeans of New Zealand', respectfully suggesting 'no better custodian for the preservation of such peace' than The Queen.

  • Medium and techniques



    41.8 x 10.2 x 2.5 cm (whole object)