For generations, Māori have used thermal waters for medicinal purposes, especially for skin complaints and rheumatic diseases. This oil painting by John Philemon Backhouse shows Māori people bathing in two small thermal pools near the edge of Lake Rotorua about 1880. The title, ‘Old painkiller bath, Te Kauwhanga Point, Rotorua’ makes clear the therapeutic properties of the waters.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.