Posts tagged with Māori

Kōrero kākahu: Rain Capes

by Matariki Williams This week we are featuring two kākahu shown in Kahu Ora that employ the same weaving techniques but use distinctly different materials. These kākahu are both versions of pākē or rain capes, one from 1850-1900 and the other made in 2009 by Matthew McIntyre-Wilson. The inspiration for this pākē hukahuka came when Matthew… Read more »

Kahu Ora: Living Cloaks is open

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The scholarship, creativity, professionalism, enthusiasm, commitment and sheer hard work of the Kahu Ora: Living Cloaks team came to fruition today in the VISA gallery, and tomorrow will be on view to the public. It’s a very beautiful exhibition, and visitors will love to be transported into Te Whare Pora – the House of Weaving…. Read more »

Unique dog skin cloak – soon to be on show at Te Papa

Huru kurī, cloak stitched from whole dog skins, on loan from Puke Ariki.

Every exhibition I work on is different. Each time I learn more and my basket of knowledge (my kete) expands and grows. This time it’s a wonderful exhibition about Māori cloaks, which features many kākahu from Te Papa’s collection, plus a small number of unique taonga which we’re fortunate to borrow from elsewhere. Kahu Ora Living Cloaks opens in about 2… Read more »

‘Pīata’ – a cloak returns home

Descendants of Rāwinia Ngāwaka Tūkeke gather around the kahu kiwi before the blessing inside the wharenui Te Poho o Kahungunu. Rongomaraeroa marae, Porangahau. 6 May 2012.

He kanohi kitea, he hokinga mahara. To see a face is to stir the memory. On Sunday 6 May 2012, a beautiful kahu kiwi cloak from the Te Papa collection, was named by her descendants as part of a special church service held at Rongomaraeroa marae, Porangahau. Te Papa Press recently published a cloak book… Read more »

More stories than you can shake a tokotoko at

Sorry about the length of time between posts, I’ve been juggling a bunch of different gigs and research duties. The fun don’t stop! But regardless of my shameless plea about time poverty, I better get this blog back up off its flatline….eep. I’ve only been a curator for 7 months and even if you were the brainiest… Read more »

Plants cultivated by Māori

  • Southern Wairarapa karaka grove. © Leon Perrie.
  • Southern Wairarapa whau. © Leon Perrie.
  • Arthropodium bifurcatum in a garden at Victoria University. © Leon Perrie.
  • Southern Wairarapa rengarenga. © Leon Perrie.

Alongside the plants brought from the tropical Pacific, it is thought that Māori cultivated at least a handful of New Zealand plant species. Massey University’s Lara Shepherd is investigating several such plants: karaka (Corynocarpus laevigatus), rengarenga (Arthropodium cirratum), and whau (Entelea arborescens). Karaka in Te Papa’s Bush City. Karaka, rengarenga, and whau are all only found… Read more »

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium The beating of aute, or tapa, is a heartbeat that resounds across the ocean of Kiwa. The harakeke of Aotearoa, symbolising family, acknowledges the relationship of the Pacific people as one, through weaving. These genealogical and material connections will be explored at the inaugural 2011 Māori and Pacific Textile… Read more »

Matau: traditional hooks, innovative design

  • Composite hook. Oldman Collection. Copyright Te Papa. OL000105
  • Hei Matau. Copyright Te Papa. ME015518
  • Pä kahawai. Copyright Te Papa. ME013868
  • Bone matau. Copyright Te Papa. ME009305

An exhibition of Mäori fish-hooks (matau) made from wood, bone, stone, and shell opens at Te Papa on Saturday December 4th. While early European explorers considered these fish-hooks to be ‘ill-made’ and ‘of doubtful efficacy’, research has shown that the design was highly effective. Unlike modern steel hooks, the Mäori hooks were attached with fishing… Read more »