May 16, 2021
Hongi musket story misfires
Ngāpuhi is unlikely to buy a musket that was supposed to have been owned by its ancestor Hongi Hika.
Rūnanga chair Wane Wharerau met last week with Webb’s Auctions after the firm withdrew the firearm from tonight’s auction of Oceanic and indigenous artefacts.
He says serious doubts have been raised as to whether the firearm was the one gifted to Hika by King George IV 200 years ago, as a paper label on the stock claimed it to be.
Given the gaps in its provenance, he will advise his board not to buy it.
The pre-sale estimate was more than $100,000.
Mr Wharerau says he will talk with the auction house further about the need to have a process of checking with iwi when items that might be significant are offered for sale.
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