Artwork Description / Detail
The present painting depicts Harata (Charlotte) Tarapata, who was the descendant of two noted Maori chiefs, Tamati Waaka Nene and Eru Patuone.
Harata was the daughter of Te Wharerahi, a chief from the Hokianga district in the Bay of Islands. She was famous for her beauty and met her future husband, Chief Paora (Paul) Tuahere of the Ngatiwhatua tribe of Orakei, when she came to Auckland to visit Patuone. Tuahere asked permission to marry her and the old chief agreed, pleased with the match.
In 1903 Charles Frederick Goldie painted her portrait entitled Memories, Harata Rewiri Tarapata.
After her marriage to Chief Paul Tuahere, Goldie painted another portrait of Harata in 1917. This was titled Memories, Harata Tuahere. It would have been at about this time that Vera Cummings, a student and companion of Goldie’s, would have painted the present portrait. Most of Harata’s later life was spent on the Orakei Marae near Auckland, and she was a familiar figure about the city and in Parnell until her death.