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THE MAORIS ARRIVE IN LONDON

"AFTER ENGLAND— HEAVEN !"

LONDON, May 5. When the Arawa Maori troupe arrived^ at St. Pancras station on Saturday mom™ ing, after landing from the Otranto at TE•bury, they were met by Mr T. E. Donne. The old, grey-bearded" chief Mita Taupopoki immediately recognised Mr Donne, whom he had known well m New Zealand. Hastening to him on the platform, the old man saluted him warmly m true Maori fashion by rubbing noses. Mr Donne had to repeat the ceremony with;all the ladies of the party. Speaking m Miaori, Mita Taupopoki said they had arrived m a strange land, which was nevertheless the Home beyond the Skies, the land which they had all longed to see, for it was the home of thenKing. Maggie Papakura, the leader of the troupe, spoke m the same strain, though her remarks were made not m Maori, but m excellent English. She* said she looked' forward to her stay m England because to the Maoris there was no place beyond England — only Heaven. "We are all very keen and anxious to learn about the great Empire to which we belong," she went on," and it is for that reason that I hf^e undertaken the trip across the sea. I am sure it will prove a great education to me." She spoke of the intense interest the? -Maoris had taken m all that they had seen on the voyage from Sydney. She said that at Gibraltar, wb,ere they were shown the fortress, her friends could scarcely be dragged away. "Really," she laughingly observed, " we felt as much pride m the famous Rock as if we had been Englishmen.' The partj? consisted of 22 men and 19 women, and some children. All the members of the party are said to be sons and daughters of chiefs. Before leaving St. Pancras station they gathered outside the refreshment room and shouted "Kia ora," and then chanted a haka. Then off they were conducted to Sydenham, where lodgings have been found for them pending the completion 1 of the Maori village now m course of erection at the Crystal Palace. They are to take part m the Festival of Empire, and to represent the Maoris at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, when that scene is enacted m the forthcoming Pageant of London. The Maori names and "costumes seem to have puzzled some of the London papers. One journal described the Maori mats as being "robes rather like furry hearthrugs, except that they were made from a species of Berlin wool." Mita Taupopoki's dress was declared to be " an exact replica of the Robinson Crusoe goatskin suit so populaT m pantomime." The spelling of his name gave endless trouble, and the papers rendered it m many fantastic ways, such as "Taupolji." About 20 of the party, headed by Maggie Papakura and Mita Taupopoki, called on the High Commissioner this week. Later on, when they are established m their village at the Festival of Empire, Sir William Hall-Jones will return their call and inspect their new home. Maggie has paid several visits to town since she took up her quarters at Sydenham. l Asked how 'she managed to find her way about London, she replied with a laugh : " Oh, I take a taxi." "And how do you like London?" "Oh," she said, 'with an eloquent gesture, " it's perfect !" '

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OSWCC19110620.2.7

Bibliographic details

THE MAORIS ARRIVE IN LONDON, Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle, Volume VII, Issue 320, 20 June 1911

Word Count
563

THE MAORIS ARRIVE IN LONDON Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle, Volume VII, Issue 320, 20 June 1911

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