Title / object name
Invitation to ’Maori demonstration’ at Rotorua for the Royal Tour, New Zealand
|Maker ||Role ||Date |
|White, Benoni ||designer ||1901 |
|A. D. Willis ||printing firm ||1901 |
paper, printing ink, cardboard
|Overall ||270 (Height) x 350 (Width/Depth) mm|
|Image ||193 (Height) x 274 (Width/Depth) mm|
This is an invitation to an official event held during the 1901 Royal Tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. It is a colourful souvenir of the couple's state visit to New Zealand. Large numbers of people took part as spectators at the events organised for the Duke and Duchess, but only carefully selected guests received invitations like this one.
The invitation incorporates imperial and local imagery arranged asymmetrically; a waving pennant and rustic lettering add to the card's informal exuberance. It features portraits of the Duke and Duchess, as well as Edward VII and Princess Alexandra, the reigning monarch and his consort. A Mäori woman greeting visitors with 'Haere mai te manuhiri' is featured, as well as a scene from Rotorua. This is where Mäori from around New Zealand gathered and practised for weeks for the spectacular event associated with this invitation: the 'Grand Carnival of the Tribes'.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary) visited New Zealand from 10 to 27 June 1901. Their visit gave New Zealanders a chance to demonstrate their loyalty towards the British Empire and to show that the country was a progressive colony where Mäori and colonists lived together harmoniously. The invitations produced for the Royal tour graphically convey New Zealand's political identity during this period: fervently imperial yet proudly nationalistic.