August 21, 2006

HABEMUS REGEM

"We have a king"

TE ARIKINUI TUHEITIA PAKI
The Great Chief Tuheitia Paki


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The high chiefs of the Maori of Aotearoa ("New Zealand") named Tuheitia Paki as successor to the Maori throne. He was "crowned" today immediately prior to the burial of his mother, Lady Te Atairangikaahu. He is her oldest son.

The deceased queen's coffin is immediately to the right of the throne, off-camera.

The crowning of a Maori monarch consists in touching the monarch's head three times with a Bible.

The Maori women in the picture are observing the custom of wearing greenery on their heads as a sign of mourning.

Just before the queen's coffin was closed, three white doves were released. Two immediately flew off. One of the doves instead landed in front of the coffin, and stayed there, not flying away until the coffin was closed. In this photograph you can see the dove and the smiles it elicited from the mourners.

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