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date: 18 November 2019

Rukupo, Raharuhi [Lazarus ]locked

(b Turanga [now Poverty Bay], NZ, c. 1800; d Turanga, Sept 29, 1873).
  • Bernard Kernot
  •  and Ngarino Ellis


[Lazarus ]

(b Turanga [now Poverty Bay], NZ, c. 1800; d Turanga, Sept 29, 1873).

New Zealand Maori wood-carver, builder, and tribal leader. Rukupo belonged to the Rongowhakaata tribe and was educated in the tribal school of learning called Tokitoki. In 1831, after shore-based trading was established in Turanga, metal tools replaced stone ones, and thus all Rukupo’s extant works are carved with metal tools. He is said to have helped carve the war canoe Te Toki a Tapiri (Auckland, Inst. & Mus.) at Turanga in 1836. In about 1840 he adopted Christianity, taking the biblical name Raharuhi (Lazarus). Rukupo’s masterpiece is the carved meeting-house Te Hau ki Turanga, erected at Orakaiapu pa (now Manutuke), Turanga, to honour his recently deceased brother from whom he inherited the mantle of tribal leadership. It opened in either 1843 or 1845. It is now housed in the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, but is to be repatriated to Rongowhakaata some time before 2019. Rukupo is also renowned for leading carvers in their work on a new Anglican church at Whakato Marae, Turanga in ...

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