July 05, 2023
Te Kooti study opens door to past and future
A Tuhoe historian says the story of Te Kooti continues to teach and inspire new generations.
On July 4, 1868, 155 years ago, Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki seized the vessel Rifleman and with 163 men and 135 women and children escaped from Rēkohu-Wharekauri.
Taiarahi Black says during the two years he was incarcerated on the island Te Kooti had a series of visions and laid the foundations for the Ringatū faith, based in a synthesis of the Old Testament and tikanga Māori.
He says study of the prophet reveals not only the colonial injustice and loss of land that drove him but the wisdom he shared.
“By walking into the works of the 19th century prophet Te Kooti you are walking into scholarship, you are walking into new knowledge, existing knowledge, you are walking into a whole host of historical sources that can very well strengthen career opportunities,” Professor Black says.