Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Earliest surviving New Zealand garments at Te Waimate

John King’s shirt
– the earliest example of a European-made garment in New
Zealand for which we know the maker and
wearer.
John King’s shirt – the earliest example of a European-made garment in New Zealand for which we know the maker and wearer.


February 5

MEDIA RELEASE

Earliest surviving New Zealand garments at Te Waimate

Two of the country’s earliest surviving European-made garments are on display at Te Waimate Mission, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust property in Waimate North.

A christening gown and a man’s smock shirt are known to have been worn in New Zealand in the earliest years of European settlement, and take pride of place in New Zealand’s second oldest surviving historic building.

“The christening gown belonged to Thomas Holloway King, the first European child to have been born in New Zealand,” says the Manager of Te Waimate Mission, Mita Harris.

“Thomas was baptised by Rev Samuel Marsden in February 1815 at Rangihoua – just a couple of months after Marsden preached his famous Christmas sermon in December 1814. He lived with his mother and father, Hannah and John King, who were part of the first missionary settlement established at Rangihoua in the mouth of the Bay of Islands.”

Sadly, Thomas died only three years later from tuberculosis. His christening gown is a stark reminder of the harshness of life in early New Zealand, with the constant threat of child mortality hanging over most families.

The men’s smock shirt has a happier story behind it. The shirt belonged to John King; complete with hand-embroidered heart at the base of the neck opening of the shirt – an indicator that the shirt might have been a betrothal gift by Hannah prior to her marriage to John in 1812.

As well as the heart, the shirt is hand-sewn and includes the initials ‘JK’ cross-stitched in pink thread near the bottom right hand side of the shirt.

“The shirt is the earliest example of a European-made garment in New Zealand for which we know the maker and wearer.

“We know that Irish linen cloth was being imported into Sydney from 1803, so it’s possible that Hannah made both garments from this.”

Although neither garment is particularly grand, both speak volumes about the simplicity and hardship of life that was the reality for missionaries and their families – and the sewing skills required to make them.

“Both the gown and the shirt illustrate the importance of practical skills – like sewing – for missionaries; not only for their survival, but as skills that they could pass on to Maori as part of their evangelism initiatives,” says Mita.

“Some of the descendants of Hannah and John King still live in the Waimate North area, and we acknowledge their connection here, as well as the valuable family history that they bring to the Te Waimate Mission story.”

Te Waimate Mission is open daily over the summer holidays. For more information on NZ Historic Places Trust properties in Northland log on to www.historicplaces.org.nz


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: Singin’ In The Rain

Singin’ in the Rain , the wet and wonderful musical production all the way from London’s West End, officially opened at St. James Theatre in Wellington. More>>

Francis Cook: Gallipoli: The Scale Of Our War – First Look

Te Papa today allowed media access to their new exhibition Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War . The exhibition was curated with help from Weta Workshop to deliver an immersive, realistic and even disorienting experience. More>>

ALSO:

Bats Theatre: Letters From The Front Brings ANZAC Letters Alive

Inspired by centenary commemorations, improv troupe Best on Tap is producing a show based on real-life letters sent to and from New Zealand soldiers in the First World War. More>>

ALSO:

Publishing: Unity Books On Plan To Close Te Papa Press

Unity Books is alarmed that Te Papa is proposing to suspend publishing by Te Papa Press for 4 or 5 years. Te Papa Press has proven time and time again that it has both award and bestseller capability and fulfils its kaupapa. More>>

ALSO:

Cinema: ‘The Desk’ Featuring Paul Henry To Have NZ Debut

The Documentary Edge Festival is thrilled to announce The Desk as a late entry to its 2015 Programme. The film, featuring local broadcaster Paul Henry, will have its international premiere on May 21 at 10pm at Q Theatre (book now at qtheatre.co.nz) with limited screenings also on offer in Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Art: Considering Feminisms In Aotearoa New Zealand: Two Projects

Feminism is something that has changed our lives. Recently, the activist Marilyn Waring reviewed the impact of feminism in Aotearoa New Zealand and reminded us that just 40 years ago banks wouldn’t lend women money without the guarantee of a man, ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news