Wahine Statue; McDonald, James Ingram; 1906; 2010-030-001


Wahine Statue

About this object

This statue is of a Wahine (Maori Woman) carrying a baby in a pikau (woven flax backpack) and draped in a korowai (long feather cloak).

Caste in plaster of paris, which has been bronzed, the statue stands on a concrete plinth.

The wahine is one of a group of six figures, made by James Ingram McDonald whilst working for the New Zealand Tourist Department. The figures were made specifically for the New Zealand International Exhibition, held in Christchurch, 1906 – 1907, where they stood in the exhibition's main corridor.

The figures portrayed a “romanticised version of ancient Maori life” (Kernot, B.) the other five figures in the group were a man standing, a woman seated, a boy playing a putorino (flute), a carver at work and a girl making a poi.

At the conclusion of the exhibition the group was acquired by Mr William Quinn, who owned the Makikihi Brickworks and built Quinn’s Arcade in Waimate. The statues were stored on his farm for 60 years. When the farm changed hands, the wahine statue was the only salvageable figure. She was sold at auction to Mr M J Meehan, who donated her to the Waimate Historical Society in September 1967. The museum renovated the statue and she was formally unveiled at the museum by the Director of Canterbury museum on 24th October 1967. Today she stands in the foyer of Waimate Museum.
See also photograph P1821


McDonald, James Ingram

Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made


Medium and Materials

Carrara plaster


Height: 2330mm Width: 840mm

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

McDonald, James Ingram

Subject and Association Keywords

Meehan, M.J.

Subject and Association Keywords

Quinn, William

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

New Zealand International Exhibition

Named Collection

Maori: Taonga Collection

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution - Non-commercial - Share Alike (cc) Attribution - Non-commercial - Share Alike (cc)

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