In preparing the material, a marine shell, usually mussel, is used for Scraping and scutching the flax fibre. The fibre is washed to remove any green colouring material, then dried and twisted into hanks.
Stone pounders (patu muka) were made to beat the hanks of fibre on a flat, waterworn boulder. These beaters were round in section with a rounded distal end and ground down to a convenient hand grip also rounded in section (Fig. 28). They are fairly heavy and must not be confused with fern-root beaters (paoi) which are usually made of wood.
Weaving sticks (turuturu
) were in pairs and averaged from 17 to 22 inches in length. They were probably plain sticks originally but as they became part of a woman's equipment, they received more care. Some were plain with a knob at the upper end and sharpened to a point at the page 168
Fig. 28. Flax pounder (after Best, 16, vol. 2, p. 528).
lower end for sticking into the ground. Others were elaborately carved with human heads or human figures with inlaid haliotis
-shell eyes. They were interesting enough to be collected as objects of art (Fig. 29).
Both the stone pounders and the weaving sticks were local developments in New Zealand which originated with the locally developed craft
Fig. 29. Weaving sticks. a, b, d, Auckland Museum; c, e, Oldman coll. (157, 158).
of downward weaving. The above were the only implements used and statements by early writers about a spinning wheel, weft shuttle, and scutching comb are nonsensical.