The Tawhiao Cottage and the Archaeology of Race and Ethnicity
Keywords:Buildings Archaeology, Maori, Ethnicity
On his return from internal exile Tawhiao, the second Maori king, had a cottage built in the 1890s on land owned by his family in Mangere, South Auckland. While it isn’t clear that Tahwiao ever stayed there, other members of the kahui ariki (royal family) are known to have done so, and it is known that the cottage had a Maori housekeeper. The cottage passed out of Maori ownership in 1925 but continued to be rented to Maori until 1947 when the then landowners built a new house at the front of the property. By the time of our investigation in 2012 the cottage was dilapidated, but was removed to Council owned land and ‘restored.’ Our investigations showed what was, in many ways, typical of the archaeology of a South Auckland cottage of its type and time. This paper examines what there was in the archaeology that might be related to the distinctive culture of its Maori inhabitants, particularly the midden beneath the cottage and evidence of hakari (feasting).