This series of artworks has been honoured as a set of 5 stamps to commemorate Tuia 250.
When Tupaia, an arioi priest and navigator from Ra‘iātea, guided Lieutenant James Cook and the Endeavour from Tahiti to Aotearoa in 1769, a reconnection was made between Māori and their ancestral homelands. As featured on these stamps, New Zealand artist Michel Tuffery has created original artworks in response to his discoveries about where his personal history meets that of these first encounters.
About the artwork:
Te Maro of Ngāti Rakai (later Ngāti Oneone) and Te Aitanga a Hauiti was a learned man, trained in the whare wānanga (house of learning) Puhi Kai Iti, an expert in reading nature and a master producer of cultivated foods for his people.
Daniel Solander was a Linnaean disciple, commited to cataloguing the natural world. What cross-pollination of knowledge was thwarted when Te Maro was shot during the first meeting of Māori and British, at the Tūranganui River.
A descendant of Te Maro, Nick Tupara, is depicted here: the living face of this tipuna and a reminder of the legacy of this tragic first meeting.