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Image 'Darby and Joan', Ina Te Papatahi, Ngä Puhi

TLF ID R2045

This is an oil painting by New Zealand artist Charles Frederick Goldie (1870-1947). It measures 99.9 cm x 125 cm and was painted in 1903. It depicts Ina Te Papatahi, a female elder (kuia) from Ngä Puhi (a tribe from Hokianga in the northern North Island). She sits on the porch of a run-down meeting house (wharenui) next to a carved wooden ancestral figure, which is dusty and chipped. Eyes averted, she rests her chin on her hand and smokes a pipe. A blanket is slung across her shoulders.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset is one of Goldie's largest and most significant works and received overwhelming praise when it was first exhibited in Auckland - Goldie, who painted predominantly Mäori subjects, captivated the public with his meticulous attention to detail and realistic depiction of clothes, artefacts and skin marking (moko).
  • It reflects the prevalent attitudes of Europeans to Mäori at this time - the title 'Darby and Joan' comes from a sentimental 19th-century English poem about an old couple facing their final years and ultimate death together; here Ina Te Papatahi is Joan, the ancestral carving next to her is Darby, and together they face the death or assimilation of the Mäori race, which many Europeans at the time believed inevitable.
  • It creates a false impression - Goldie's depiction of Mäori as a dying race did not reflect reality, as the Mäori population was increasing at the time and dynamic Mäori political groups were forming.
  • It is a painting which has been regarded in different ways over time - Goldie has become controversial, as many people now see his work as reflecting colonial attitudes of racism.
  • It is valued by Mäori because it is considered that the wairua (spirit) of Ina Te Papatahi resides in the painting.

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Organization: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Description: Content provider
  • URL:
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Person: Charles Frederick Goldie
  • Description: Author
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Organization: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements