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No. 21 (December 1957)
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Mrs Rangimarie Hetet showing us a completed piupiu of her handiwork. The pattern is called poutama.

KO TE MAHI O TE PIUPIU
THE ART OF MAKING PIUPIU

Ko te mahi a ringaringa te mahi tino pai rawa ki nga ropu wahine o te motu nei. Ko nga ropu wahine Maori kahore he mahi a ringaringa tino pai rawa i tua atu i nga mahi tuturu Maori. Tera tetahi tuturu mahi a rangaringa a te Maori ko te mahi o te piupiu. Tena pea he tokomaha nga ropu wahine Maori tamariki Maori whakahaere kapa haka e kuare ki te mahi o te piupiu. No reira ko nga korero ka whai ake nei he tohutohu na tetahi wahine tohunga mo nga mahi Maori ko tona ingoa ko Rangimarie Hetet no Maniapoto kei ia a nga tohutohutanga mo te mahi o te piupiu.

Hiahia atu au ki te piupiu nei me pehea ra e oti ai he piupiu moku? Ko tetahi hoki me pehea ra te ahua o te harakeke tika e oti ai he piupiu. He aha? Nga harareke pai ko nga mea ngahoro nga whara pai nga ruku a otira tino harakeke pai he taiore mo te piupiu. Me pehea e oti ai enei

 

Mrs Rangimarie Hetet, one of the best exponents of Maori crafts, showed Te Ao Hou how a piupiu is made. We thought it would be interesting to get the whole story in the Maori language and so Miss Ina Te Uira, Maori Welfare Officer in Te Kuiti, interviewed Mrs Hetet who described how this work is done. A tape recording was made which was broadcast over the YA stations last November and is now printed here in its original form. Photographs and an English translation should help to make the story clear and enable our readers to improve, if necessary, on their own ways of making Maori kilts.

 
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kapakapahanga e mau nei i runga i te harakeke nei? Me maaka e koe ki runga i te papa nga wahi hei whakawhiu tahanga Maori.—Ae—Ka mutu tera tu whakapae haere e koe ki nga maaka o to papa? Pehea ake ki toku raka? Ka whakapa haere atu ki runga i nga maaka o runga i taku karaka ne?—Ae—Ina ka maaka ai i nga harakeke i te ahuatanga o nga maaka e mau nei i runga i te papa.—Ae—A ka mutu tera ka pewhea? Ka haaro haere koe nga wahi e hiahia ana koe kia puta ake ko nga muka. Me pehea ra e au te haro? Me haro e koe ki te makoi. Kaore matu hutai—Ae—Ko tehea wahi o te harakeke e tapahi ai e kia whakaparangia e au? E rua nei hoki nga taha ki te harakeke. I ko roto ko te taha aoa ko waho te taha me whakapara e au?—Ko waho—Ko waho?—Ae—A ko waho. Me pehea e mohio ai au i tetahi taha i tetahi taha?—Ae—Tetahi taha

 
 
MAKING A PIUPIU

Miss Ina Te Uira: The learning of a handcraft is an excellent thing and what is better for the groups of Maori women to do than to learn a real Maori handcraft. The making of piupius is such a Maori handcraft which I am sure quite a number of women's groups would derive benefit from learning. Here are some points on the making of a piupiu by Mrs Rangimarie Hetet, of Ngati Maniapoto.

“I would very much like to have a piupiu, I wonder how I would set about to make one? Also what sort of flax would one use?”

Mrs Rangimarie Hetet: “The best flax for making piupius is the type known as the Taiore.”

I: “How are these intervals fixed on the flax?”

R: “You stretch the flax out on a board and

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Flax has to be carefully prepared before weaving as is shown in this photograph of the women of Judea Pa, Tauranga, for the mats of their meeting house. (Photograph John Ashton 1953).

 
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kaore e tino piata—Ae—Tehea wahi—Ko te wahi kaore e piata ko tena te wahi hei whakapa mau—A katahi au ka mohio inaianei. A tena a muri atu o tera o te harotanga ka pehea? Ka huihui e koe kia rua tekau te paihere ka herea e koe nga wahi ki nga matata—Ae—Ka whakanoi e koe kia maroke. He pehea te roa e noi ana? Te ahuatanga o te maroke. Ka ruia e koe ka kite koe kua maroke—Ae—Tena, e hia te maha o nga harakopikopi kua ma nga harakeke na ka mohio koe keke ka oti he piupiu? E neke atu i te toru rau. A neke atu i te toru rau te maha o nga harakeke ne? E toru neke atu. Pehea ra te roa o tenei mea o te piupiu e mahia ana ka oti tika ai? Ki a koe ia mahinga piupiu pehea te roa ka oti i a koe? Mai o te tapahinga ra o te harakeke o te harotanga o te taitanga kei te ahua tonu o te maha o nga tapahi o runga i te piupiu—Ae—Ka maha atu nga tapahi. Na ka nui ka roa atu hoki koe e mahi ana—Ae—Na mo te taha ki nga kara nei. He aha ra nga kara tuturu a te Maori? He mangu—Ae—He kowhai—Ae—He ma—he tanekaha—Ae. Na ko te mea mangu nei ko ia tenei te mea tino nui te whakauru atu ki roto i te piupiu ne?—Ae—I whea te Maori e mahi piupiu ke rere ke atu nga wahi moka nei? Kaore e penei, o, me kowhai pea nga moka nei, me koma ranei—Kao—Me koma ranei—Kao. Heoi ano ko te manguraka ne? Ae. A. no reira pehea e oti ai te wahi mangu nei? Ka maroke o harakeke ka tikina e koe he whinau i te maunga ko nga peha e mahia mai e koe. He pehea te ahua o tera mea o te hinau? A he rakau tino rahi te hinau—Ae—Tera rakau e tauria ana e te manu—Ae—E te kereru—Ae—A peheatia na. Ka hariatia mai e koe ka kurukuru e koe nga peha kia maru ka mutu ka tahu e koe kia paera kia pau nga kaha ki roto i te wai. Na kia mea ka makana koe ki roto ki te kohua, pehea te nui o te wai? Ki raro iho o nga peha. A kia ngaro ino nga peha? Ka

 
 

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1. Strips of a well made piupiu require many incisions with the razor. For the sake of accuracy and speed the correct places for the cuts are marked on a piece of pinex. As the strips of the piupiu are often different from each other several patterns may be needed. The poutama design (see page 24) has three patterns.

then mark the intervals as shown. The marks on the board would then serve to measure off other lengths of flax.”

I: “After you have so marked off the intervals—what then?”

R: “Then you take hold of the flax that has been marked and scrape by means of a shell the marked intervals until the fibre of the flax appears.”

I: “How did you say the flax was to be scraped?”

R: “You scrape the flax with a cockle shell on the side that is not shiny.”

I: “Having done that what next?”

R: “You then bundle the prepared flax into bundles of twenty, hang then up to dry.”

I: “How long would it take to dry the flax?”

R: “When the flax is uniformly whitish in colour.”

I: “How many strands of flax would make a piupiu?”

R: “You would require three hundred or more depending upon the size.”

I: “How long would it take to make a piupiu?”

R: “It is hard to say for there is a considerable lapse of time from the time the flax is cut until the finished article is produced.”

I: “What are the true Maori colours?”

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2. Cutting the strips according to the pattern on the pinex guiding board.

 
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paera kia tu. Kia roa ano e paera ana kia pau nga kaha o te hinau. A me pehea e mohio ai kua pau te kaha o te hinau? Ka rite ai ki te ahua o te wai. He aha te ahua o te wai? Ahua pumangu. Ae hoa, he mea tauhou tena ki au. A ka mutu tera ka pehea ano? Ka waiho e koe kia matao—Ae—Ka poupou o piupiu ki roto ko nga harakeke ra ka karaha ne? Kaua e puru nga peha kua oti i a koe te mahi—Ae—Mau kia matao anake te wai, kaore kia pai te kohua ki roto i te wai wera?—Kao—Me wera anake te wai raka. Kia matao ke—Ae—A ka mutu to pou ki roto i taua wai pou ki roto i taua wairaka e horoi ngia ana ki te wai mahue iho. Kao—Ae—Whakameatia noatia kia kotahi te pou ki roto i te wai whinau. Aha. Ka tatia e koe ka whakanoi kia maroke rawa aua harakeke piupiu. Ka mutu katahi ka haria e koe ka poua e koe ki roto i te paru. Hei aha? He tino uaua koe ki tena mahi?—Ae—Ki aua nei ko te hinau anake kua mate. Taka haria ano ki roto [ unclear: ] te pango pehea te roa o te patu? Kotahi te po. A ka mutu tera ka pewhea? Ka tawhia e koe ka horoi e koe i roto i te wai rere kia tino ma rawa nga pahi. Tehea wahi e pai nga taru mo tenei mahi, pehea era takiwa? He ahua pakeke tera patai—A, kaore e ngaro i a koe te paru, me whawha e o ringaringa mehemea ka maenene he paruparu tera. Engari ko te ahua o taua paru, e mangu ano? Ae kaore te tino mangu rawa, he ahua puru nei etahi taema. Ae, Te kotahi te po ki reira ka mutu ka tango mai i roto i te paru ka hari ki te wairere kia ma nga paru ne?—Ae—Ka whakanoi ano kia maroke rano. Mea ake i te timatanga [ unclear: ] te mahi o te piupiu ake, me pehea ai tera wahi? Kua mutu katoa nga whakama ka whakawhatangia e koe ka whatungia e koe ko waho tuatahi. Ka whakamatangia he aha tera mea? Na ko te timata? A, pehea ai tau na mahi ka whakanui ngia e koe? E kite ana au hoki i roto i nga whakaahua nei kei tena taha. Pera tahi ano taua. Kia mutu te whakamata o te aho tuatahi ka whakamaarongia e koe whena e tau e kii mai? Whakamata he penei na? Tenei nga wahi? Ko waho e rarahi. Ka whakanui ai te kapou ra—Ae—Ka whakamaro ai e koe katahi koe ka mahi i te taniko o runga. Ehara ko te ahua piupiu ko ia tenei te tuturu piupiu? Nga mea taniko nei ano kua kitea hoki e au aua tu piupiu kaore he taniko heoi ano ko nga harakeke e tautau ana. Na ko a ia tena. Hiahia koe me whiri noa iho e koe—Ae—Hiahia me taniko. Engari ko toku whakaaro pai ke nga piupiu taniko a runga ko te take he u nga harakeke kaore e papahoro—Ae. Pehea te roa e mahi ai i tenei piupiu? E toru marama—Aue—Kati ma te tino tauira he toru marama tena, maku e toru tau pea! Ka oti ranei ka aha ranei i roto i te toru tau. Pera ka nui ra e koe ka oti! Na ko te aho tuatahi e kiia ana nga kaumatua ko te aho taniko tuatahi he aho tapu tera. Te taati koe to piupiu ka taati koe te aho tapu me noho rawa koe ki te mahi a, kia tutuki rano katahi koe ka matika. Mai o tenei pito? Tena pito—Ae—Engari ehara pea tenei na te aho tuatahi ne? Ko tera ra ke?

 
 

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3. Scraping down the strips is done with a paua shell after the razor cuts are made.

R: “The Maori colours are black, yellow, white and red. The predominating colour is black.”

I: “How is the black produced?”

R: “When the flax is dry you fetch some kowhai bark. You pound the bark and then put it into some container cover it with sufficient water and boil until the water becomes darkish in colour. Then leave the solution to cool.”

I: “What next?”

R: “Then you immerse the prepared flax into the kowhai solution. Then you hang the bundles of flax until they are dry. Then you dip the flax into some special mud and leave overnight. The next day—take the flax out and put into running water until thoroughly cleansed. Take great care that all the particles of mud have been removed from the flax when washed. Then you hang the flax once more to dry.”

I: “What's the next stage?”

R: “The next thing would be to plait the flax together and to make the taniko top. The taniko top, however, is not part of all the piupius for invariably they are made with but plain tops. The making of a piupiu as I have said entails much work and considerable time.

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4. The upper end of the strip is entirely scraped down and the fibres used for the taniko border.

 
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Ko tenei. Engari kia roa atu koe ka mahi atu koe ki konei tuatahi ka mahi ai i tera raina—Ae. A, i tena ahuatanga kia oti tenei kia oti tena. Ae, ko tena te aho papa. Ko tenei na? Timatanga o te taniko—Ae—Kua mohio haere hoki au. Engari i muri atu i tera kua pai noa iho. A no mua ra tera korero au e mohio ana i naianei pai noaiho pea mehemea e mohio au he aha he korero tika tena.—Ae—Katahi taua ka hanga ki te whaka-hinga. Na, ki te kore e oti i au ka pehea? Whakarerea! Ko taku hoki e kiia atu nei ka ngakau nui koe ka oti i a koe. Kao e mea ana au ki te aho tapu nei na. Ahua nei ka paanga au i te mate i waenganui, ka pehea? A, he raruraru nui ra hoki tena. Kore hoki e taea te pewhea me ka pangia koe e te mate. Engari ko te tikanga ia ratou i nga kaumatua me tutuki rawa te aho tapu—Ae—Ka matika ai koe i runga i o papa. Ka mau tonu ai pea i a koe tenei? Ae—Kaua ia he mahi uaua rawa atu? He tino mahi uaua te mahi nei. Engari ka pai au mehemea ko nga kau nui a koe ki te ako mai i au ka ngakau nui ano hoki ki te mau i au. Maku koe e tohutohu—Ae—Te hokihoki mai ana nga iwi. A me wareware koe mo tera korero.

 
MONEY FOR MAORI CAUSES

At its annual meeting the Maori Purposes Fund Board made provision for continuing the work of recording Maori chants.

It was explained that the board's secretary. Mr W. T. Ngata, who has been doing the work on behalf of the board, has visited most of the areas from which chants can be obtained. Much material has been collected and is on tapes and storage discs prepared by the New Zealand Broadcasting Service which has stated that the material on the storage discs will be good for a limited period only. The Maori Purposes Fund Board decided therefore that it was essential that the material recorded to date should be produced on Long

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5. The loose threads at the end of each strip form the warps of the taniko pattern. Mrs Hetet colours them black and uses strips of various colours for weft. The colour desired in front forms the active thread and the others merely continue along behind. Thus, if black is the desired thread, the black makes a full turn around the white, yellow and red threads for the number of warps desired. After crossing the last warp black passes back to join the passive threads and white, yellow or red, as desired, is brought forward. Thus, to change colour, black and red make a half turn.

Playing records so that they will be available for students and others. The Board therefore set aside £1000 for the cutting of master discs and the processing of records.

Another decision of the board at its annual meeting was to commission the Wellington journalist, Mr Eric Ramsden to write a book on the life of the late Sir Apirana Ngata.

The Maori Purposes Fund Board resolved to grant £1000 towards the building of the Palmerston North Maori Battalion War Memorial Community Centre and £300 to the Adult Education organisation to be expended on the teaching of Maori arts and crafts.

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6. Inscribed and worked into the piupiu illustrated above is the motto of the Maori Women's Welfare League. It was woven by Mrs Hikirangi Hakaria of the Oruanua Branch.