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Te whakatuwheratanga o Te Tumu Herenga Waka : 6 Tihema 1986, Poneke, Te Whare Wananga o Wikitoria


(The following is a description of the methods and materials used to produce tukutuku panels).

Traditionally tukutuku was made with harakeke, pingao and kiekie. They were prepared for tukutuku work in the following ways:-

HARAKEKE: Common flax - This was soaked in hot water and then scraped with a shell.

PINGAO: This was washed and dried and then allowed to bleach naturally to a yellow colour. It was predominantly found in sand hills in the North Island.

KIEKIE: This was a preferred plant because it bleached whiter than flax. It was boiled then dried in the sun.

Dying of the flax and kiekie was carried out by placing the already scraped material into swamp mud — (paru), after it had been boiled with bark from the Hinau tree. It was left in the mud for a specified period of time. These materials were only gathered at certain times of the year and often came from other places.

Traditionally tukutuku panels were made from fern stalks and kakaho shafts, and in sometimes rimu or totara slats were also incorporated.

Today more durable and readily available materials are used as backing; and coloured rafia or leather are used in weaving. In Te Tumu Herenga Waka, flat slats, peg boards and leather are the materials that have been used.