Chapter One: Te Ara's Scars

Geoffrey Sanborn

in Whipscars and Tattoos

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751693
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894819 | DOI:
Chapter One: Te Ara's Scars

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Chapter One reconstructs the life history of Te Ara, a Maori chief who led a massacre of the crew and passengers of the British ship Boyd in 1809 in retaliation for having been whipped by the ship's captain. The chapter shows, there was a remarkable effort, beginning around 1815, to represent Te Ara's vengeance as the understandable response of an upper-class man to the intolerable insult of a flogging. The true origin of the incident, according to most of the post-1815 commentators on the event, was not the “savagery” of Te Ara but the “imprudence and temerity” of the captain who whipped him.

Keywords: Te Ara; Boyd; Maori; flogging; savagery

Chapter.  9148 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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