“These savages should be dealt with as wild beasts which, unless exterminated, render the colonisation of a country impossible.” - The Wellington Independent, 19 November 1868
The second Taranaki War is raging and New Plymouth is a garrison town under siege. The British Imperial Army have returned to England, leaving the country to Māori and Pākehā to fight over, “He iwi tahi tātou” no longer. To the victor the spoils: a lush unspoilt country ripe for farming and the right to rewrite history as they see fit. To the loser: the slow, systematic loss of everything held dear, starting with their land and freedom.
But in 1869 the war is a far cry from the south coast of Wellington, where Tāiki Kenning has settled in marital bliss with his Pākehā bride Hannah-May. There, Tāiki and Hannah-May keep the homefires of Te Miti burning, in the hope that one day his people will return. But as a storm brews overhead and Hannah-May begins to dream of terrors in the forest, a pack of dogs appear with a warning for Tāiki.
the underTOW project is a series of plays that aim to cast light on the legacy and unknown stories of our country’s founding document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Dog & Bone is the second in the series and follows on from The Ragged (2010).