Bringing the past to life with colour

Moa Hunt


Not a real moa, unfortunately, as moas probably died out early in the fifteenth century, though there have been claims of sightings since, unverified.

This is an early 20th century reconstruction of a moa hunt, in the Dunedin Public Gardens, New Zealand.

The reconstruction was the work of Augustus Hamilton, registrar at the Otago Museum at the time. He persuaded Peter Buck, Hēmi Papakura and Tūtere Wī Repa to pose as the hunters, then took this photo, which was reproduced at the 1906–7 Christchurch International Exhibition.

There was one mistake with the reconstruction. An analysis of moa vertebral articulation suggests that they probably carried their heads forward, more like a chicken than an ostrich.



Original B&W photo.


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