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Ethnology of Manihiki and Rakahanga



Clothing was further developed than in Tongareva. The Tongarevan perineal band of coconut stipule (kaka), which was the general dress of the men, was not used in Rakahanga. A more elaborate maro of fine plaiting was used instead. Kilts, capes, and poncho-like tiputa were also made. No form of weaving was known, and the craft by which the garments were made was plaiting. European textiles have completely displaced the old forms of clothing, but kilts and ponchos are sometimes plaited for festival dances and for presentation to visitors. Thus I was agreeably surprised on calling at Manihiki after our sojourn in Rakahanga to find that the people had of their own volition plaited kilts and ponchos for me as examples of their old-time garments. Though highly ornate, they gave some idea of the craft employed. Tupou-rahi also possessed a fairly old plaited maro.