During the hauhau wars, Riwai Pakerau was wounded in battle, when Te Kooti fired point blank into his eyes. As Te Kooti knew Riwai personally, this was a personal vendetta for Riwai taking up arms against him. Riwai spent the rest of his life blinded by the wounds he had received. In this blinded state he was known as Riwai Kapo. He survived for over a hundred years and practiced the laying on of hands for the healing of the sick…Riwai was led from place to place as he was totally blind. His many great-grandchildren took turns to lead him around. He was painted in oil in this blind state.
Riwai Pakerau’s Carvings and Kowhaiwhai entrusted to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Photographed 2008.
1. Front portion of carved ridgepole from Iritekura house. Registered as
AM 46442. On loan to Auckland Museum from Malta Sidney and Tawhai Tamepo “on behalf of Iretekura people” in 1974
2. Pare [Door lintels] in association with several poupou from Maui tikitiki house.
Registered as AM 45993. On loan to Auckland Museum from Mr Tate
Pewhairangi and Mr Ben Pewhairangi in 1973. Said to be work of Riwai Pakerau.
3. Two portions of rafters with kowhaiwhai and naturalistic trees painted on, said to be work of Riwai Pakerau. Registered as AM45994 and 45995. On loan as above.