The legendary Hongi Hika was one of the great figures of Maoridom and was certainly the principal Maori leader during the first years of European settlement. His Ngapuhi tribe conquered large parts of the North Island during the Musket Wars in the early 19th century. He was a charismatic fighting chief of the old school, brutal when required; but he also befriended European missionaries such as Thomas Kendell, spoke good English and held his own at the English court during his visit to London. He is thus extremely accessible to a reader in the 21st century. This biography is by a kinswoman of Hongi's.