Taonga Maori Collection

Large 'patuki' or 'patu muka', (wooden flax pounder), Maori. Pounders like this, made of stone or wood, were used to pound harakeke (flax), to extract the cream coloured fibre known as muka.Detail of one of the handles of the waka huia.Kete, (Maori woven basket), made out of black and natural coloured harakeke (flax), with ten small looped handles made out of plaited black and natural coloured muka fibre (flax fibre) along the top, five on each side. The kete is made with the raranga whakairo or close plaiting with pattern work technique. Fine strips of harakeke, on average 3mm wide - are used to form the intricate geometric pattern. This kete is believed to be over 100 years old.Black finely woven kete, or Maori basket. The 1972 Catalogue of the A.N. Brown Collection states: Mere Onewa, a dark grey basalt hand club with a highly polished finish to the surface. The club has a traditional tapering form, from handle to blade. There is a symmetrical patina at the base of the club's handle, with 3 grooves running around the end of the rounded end. The hole drilled near the handle end, is a hand-drilled hole that tapers from both sides, indicating the old drilling process.A close up of the kete showing the fine strips of kiekie - measuring only2mm across. This kete, thought to be over one hundred years old, was woven by a highly skilled weaver. Traditionally in Maori society, it was the women who were the weavers, creating not only baskets and household items, but also beautiful cloaks.Maori poi awe, a ball on a long cord used in dances. Close up detail of the whariki or plaited harakeke floor mat. The whariki has 4 plaited panels running down its length which are woven together. This poi awe, has a surface fabric made with a knotless netting technique using a single cord of rolled flax fibre, (phormium fibre), which forms the shape of the ball. This knotless netting technique was likely to have been done using a large darning needle or bodkin, and wooden or bone needles may have been used prior to the arrival of Europeans although this has not been documented. These poi were traditionally stuffed with raupo down. A piece of cord encircles the poi, vertically and horizontally, small strips of dog hide have been looped around the cord encircling the poi as decoration. Poi awe, or long handled poi with doghair tassels, (only the stubs of the tassels remain). The native dog, or kuri became extinct in the 1860's, meaning this poi must be over 150 years old. Poi are used by Maori in traditional dance.The hand drilled hole of the mere pounamu tapers on both sides, indicating the old drilling process.Waka Huia, a carved treasure box, used by Chiefs to store the huia feathers which were a symbol of their rank.Matua Ika or Maori Fishhook with cord. A traditional hand made fishhook. A plied length of muka or flax fibre is bound to the end the hook, which is carved out of whale bone. The muka cord has been wound around the hook and is tied in place with cotton thread.The underside of the Waka Huia, showing the exceptionally fine carving done which was done with stone tools, and decorated with red and black pigment. The carving is done in an East Coast style. One of the two whariki, (woven floor mats), in The Elms collections. The whariki were woven by Te Puhatoto Tukaka, and her friend Te Kui Gardiner, sometime between 1996 and 1998. Mrs. Tukaka's husband Willie Tawhiao Tukaki, assisted the two women making the whariki, by preparing the harakeke (flax), for weaving. Te Puhatoto passed away in 2004 at the age of 82, leaving behind a wonderful legacy of whariki not only at The Elms but on many Marae in the Tauranga area. The two whariki were gifted to The Elms, near the turn of the century.Mere pounamu or nephite (greenstone) hand club. A very fine example, with surface fracture through the handle area, which appears to follow the natural fault line in the stone piece. The handle end has a hand-drilled hole through it, which is off-set to one side, to accommodate the taura or lashing cord.