Media type
Moving image
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Media type
Moving image
Place of production
New Zealand/Aotearoa
Production company
West’s Pictures
Taonga Māori Collection
Cameraman: E J Hardy

Taken at a hui at Tamatekapua Marae, Ohinemutu, Rotorua this footage shows groups of Maori men and women performing on a marae.

GV Steam and vapour rising from rocky hillside on shoreline of lake [Lake Rotomahana, women
MS Man wearing hat, waistcoat, white shirt and trousers [possibly Guide Alfred Warbrick], stands near steaming mud and hillside blowhole emitting steam and vapour.

WS Women at Whakarewarewa, some with rugs draped round their shoulders. Six women appear carrying kete and a cast iron kettle. They walk to a ngāwhā (steam vent used for cooking), placing kete and kettle inside vent, then remove them quickly. They advance toward camera carrying kete.

MS Large group of women gathered around hot pool, demonstrating a typical washday on the marae. Men and women congregate in the background. Two women carry babies wrapped in rugs on their backs.

MS Three distinguished women in traditional dress, kiwi feather korowai, piupiu, taonga, and huia feathers alight from a horse drawn carriage followed by a koroua with a carved walking stick, large group of people stand at rear of carriage.

This section of film has been printed in reverse:
MS Women in traditional dress and a large group of elders and women dressed in hats, formal suits and korowai draped round their shoulders assemble and move away from the front of Tamatekapua Marae.

MS Group of women wearing piupiu over European dress, perform an action song. Children play while spectators watch group perform. Young girl in background carries a child wrapped in a rug on her back.
MS Elderly woman enter from R waving a taiaha. Another enters from L doing the same. Elders perform while moving in front of group, crossing over, moving their taiaha up and down and at the same time, pūkana. Two women have their piupiu draped around shoulders.
151 ft In background behind group, women and children appear and proceed to imitate the performers, coaxed on by of a gentleman who is aware of the camera.
159 ft Woman with baby wrapped in rug carried on her back, appears briefly. A little girl does the pūkana. Man appears behind them.
174 ft Two women move to sides, then back in front of group while doing the pūkana and brandishing their taiaha.

MS Group of bare-chested men wearing shorts or trousers, one with a blanket draped round his waist, hold spear shaped taiaha [1 may be an oar or paddle] while giving a haka-like performance for camera. A tall building, stands in the background.

233 ft People paddling in 2 waka, attempt to cross a hurdle in river.

266 ft 6 men paddle 2 waka in a regatta.

281 ft Wood chopping event is watched by a group of men and young boys. While the axe man chops away, his partner appears to be assisting with the removal of large chips cut away from block and giving hand gestures and instructions during the event - crowd in suits and hats stands nearby.

SIGHTS IN NEW ZEALAND was filmed by T J West and his cameramen and included 16 scenes filmed around New Zealand. These included the Rotorua scenes above and also the driving by Mr F N Jones, of Nelson, of a horse and trap up the Cathedral steps in Nelson which with other scenes have not survived.
There is the full page photo spread in the Otago Witness of 4 October 1905, p.41, headed ‘“West’s Pictures” cinematographing Maori scenes at Rotorua.’ We see his two camera teams filming a poi dance with West, in his Stetson hat, Hardy, his principal cameraman, surrounded by Maori elders and curious onlookers, staring back quizzically at the photographer. There are also shots of canoe races and a larger shot of West’s cinematographic teams filming the dancers performing on the marae.

SIGHTS IN NEW ZEALAND was listed in Charles Urban catalogue. 02976, SIGHTS IN NEW ZEALAND (525’), Jan 20, 1906, (E), Urban, Ph. TJ West, Maori dances, hot springs, etc. (16 Scenes), Dennis Giford, The British Film Catalogue, Non-Fiction Films Vol.2, BFI Publishing, London, 1999. See also Rudall Hayward interview with Walter Harris, NZ Film Archive and Hayward scrapbook, NZFA for picture of West filming horse and trap going up the Cathedral steps in Nelson.

Catalogue notes updated by Chris Pugsley and Clive Sowry 7/04/2009