- Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
- Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, purchased 2010
- 1770 x 1400mm
Labelled ‘Poukalem’, and believed to depict the leading Ngāi Tahu chief Piuraki, also known as John Love Tikao, this powerful life-cast plaster likeness was made by the Parisian phrenologist Pierre-Marie Alexandre Dumoutier at Ōtākou (Otago) in late March 1840.
The casting occurred two months before Piuraki became a signatory to the Treaty of Waitangi at Ōnuku near Akaroa on 30 May 1840. Piuraki was fluent in French and English, having lived for two years in Bordeaux, France, then for five years in London. This followed a period working with a whaling crew, where he took the name John Love. This in turn came after his release from imprisonment on Kapiti Island (near Wellington), having been captured during Te Rauparaha’s 1831 raid on Kaiapoi pā (fortified village) in North Canterbury.
Piuraki became an important advocate for Ngāi Tahu in highlighting to ensuing colonial governments the enforced land sales and broken promises that left his people effectively landless. (Kā Honoka, 18 December 2015 – 28 August 2016)