[above] Hone Heke and Kawiti inspect my new Māori pa fortifications under construction for my New Zealand Wars project. Whilst waiting for the glue to dry, I’ve quickly photographed my initial experiment at making Māori fortifications for my New Zealand Wars project.
You can see they’re made of ordinary twigs. The ends of the main posts have roughly shaped ‘heads’ on them done with a rasp.
I’ve given the palings points with a pencil sharpener. Some of them are cut a bit shorter at the bottom to leave loopholes at ground level. The unique thing about Māori fortifications was that the warriors fired from underneath the fence. This was quite unlike most other nations’ fortifications, where defenders stood on platforms to shoot over the tops of their walls. Māori warriors were further protected by standing in a trench behind the wall. This made them very difficult indeed to winkle out.
The palings are somewhat out of scale (too thick), but will, I hope, give the right impression. Once the glue is dry, they’ll also be tied in with a criss-cross thread. Then I have to make raised bases for the fences with the protective trench behind them.
Below are a couple of inspiring pictures by ‘Jen 64’ of model Māori pa at the Tawhiti Museum in Hawera. Mine is not going to be anywhere as dramatic, but instead will be just a few modular fence sections that I can arrange on the edge of the board to form an indicative part of a pa.
Anyway, the glue is nearly dry now, so on I must go with the next stage in assembly …