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Games and Pastimes of the Maori

Manu Taratahi

Manu Taratahi

A specimen of the manu taratahi is in the Dominion Museum. See Fig. 31 (p. 134). It was made by Te Tuhi Pihopa of Te Whaiti. This form is triangular, the small end being uppermost when flown. The frame is composed of the culms of toetoe kakaho (Arundo conspicua), three of which are arranged as ribs with the plumes downwards, and an extra one is tied to the central one with its plume projecting upwards. These projecting plumes are the only items of the kite that act as a tail to balance it. The reeds are tied together at the apex and a small rod or piece of reed is lashed across the lower ends in order to brace them. The pieces of raupo leaf are page 133neatly laced on with small strips of Phormium leaf. A few feathers are attached to the apex and to the bracing rod at the base. The aho or flying cord is attached to the middle reed of the frame. The taratahi is one of the inferior styles of kite, small and not durable, such as were made for children. The large kites flown by adults were of very different construction. The taratahi form of kite is said to take its name from the form of its upper end, where the single plume projects. Small kites, perhaps three feet in length, were sometimes made for children in the pakau form, like that in the Auckland Museum, but of much simpler construction.