TitIa wirum, te wahanui's sister
Ingoa/Name: Unconfirmed - Titia Wirum
Kaiwhakaahua/Photographer: Elizabeth Pulman
Other Kaitiaki of this Rangatira:
- Auckland Museum - Photograph
ERASURE AT WORK
Elizabeth Pulman is lauded as being the first professional female photographer in Aotearoa. She was born in England in 1836, and emigrated to Aotearoa in 1861. In 1867, her husband George Pulman opened a photography studio in Auckland, and upon his death in 1871, Elizabeth took over the studio. She successfully ran Pulman's Photography Studio for almost three decades. Towards the end of her life, she sold the business to the Government Tourist Bureau.
Elizabeth Pulman passed away in 1900, and her works include iconic photographs of Māori Rangatira, both as posed portraits and in a candid style. In 2016, a group of twelve of her photographs sold at auction for NZ$39,000. A copy of this photo was included in the auction, and was estimated to sell for NZ$1,100, but was sold for several times that estimate.
It is problematic that while images of Tupuna such as Titia Wirum continue to secure the legacy of Pulman and other photographers, little information is available on the subjects of these photographs. The names, iwi affiliations, and narratives of these subjects are erased by the photographer's desire and priority to secure "exotic" images for profit. In addition, these images continue to be sold as postcards and other stereotype-reinforcing tourist commodities today. Furthermore, while I was unable to find information on Titia Wirum and the other subject of this photograph, I did not encounter this problem researching her brother, Wahanui Huatare. Over the course of my research, I was generally more successful in finding information about tāne over wāhine.