When a chief was baptised into the Christian faith, his whole tribe sometimes followed him. This 1853 painting shows Te Puni, a leading chief of Te Āti Awa in the Wellington region, being baptised by Octavius Hadfield in his church of Rangiātea in Ōtaki. The painting was commissioned by Governor George Grey (fifth from right), who appears with his wife, Eliza, standing beside Hadfield. Grey may have commissioned this painting to show the success of his policy of assimilating Māori into European settler society. However Te Puni was actually baptised in more modest circumstances in Petone, Wellington.
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National Library of Australia
Oil on canvas by Charles Decimus Barraud
Permission of the National Library of Australia must be obtained before any re-use of this image.