This studio portrait of Hūria Mātenga was taken in the 1890s in the Tyree studio in Nelson. The rope prop and the painted backdrop of a cliff and stormy waters evoke her part in the 1863 rescue of the crew of the Delaware. Hūria, along with her husband Hēmi, as well as Kerai, Eraia and Hohapata Kahupuku, rescued the crew as the ship broke up, swimming out through breakers to retrieve a line thrown from the vessel. Young, beautiful Hūria, the granddaughter of the Ngāti Tama chief Te Pūoho, attracted the most attention, and a public subscription raised enough to buy her a gold watch. Each of the rescuers received £50 (nearly $6,000 in 2020 terms).
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.