August 19, 2014
Ancient tapa inspires student
An interest in Maori use of tapa cloth has won an Auckland student the Auckland Museum’s $10,000 Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship.
Nikau Hindin of Te Rarawa and Ngapuhi is doing a joint degree in Maori studies and fine arts.
She says it was while she was studying traditional arts at the University of Hawai’i that she was made aware that when Maori first settled in Aotearoa, they made fabric from the bark of the aute or paper mulberry.
However, many parts of the country were too cold to grow the tree.
Ms Hindin will research where it would have grown and the whakatauki or proverbs associated with it.
She has used examples of Maori tapa beaters in the Auckland Museum to make her own beater from pohutakawa, and she plans to use bark from an aute growing at Waipapa marae to make her own tapa.
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