Nohorua, shown with his wife Te Wainokenoke and son Tuarau, was the half-brother of the Ngāti Toarangatira chief, Te Rauparaha. As the eldest in the whānau (extended family), Nohorua’s rank was that of tuakana (senior). In addition he was trained as a tohunga (learned expert), and was probably responsible for choosing the dates on which important initiatives were taken by Te Rauparaha and his followers.
Painting by George French Angas in c1844. He records that the group is depicted ‘in a potato ground, or clearing at Kahotea, between Takapuwahia and Titahi Bay - Porirua; in the distance is a cooking shed, thatched with nikau leaves. The chief is seated by the trunk of a tree-fern, and the bird [near the supplejack] is ... the fan-tailed fly catcher. E Wai, was recovering from an illness at the time of my visit, and had therefore been placed under a tapu so strict, that every spot of ground whereon she sat was rendered sacred for a certain number of days; one of these tapued places is represented ... fenced around with twigs that its sanctity may not be infringed upon.’