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Tukutuku Panel named 'Matariki'

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

"Matariki Ahunga Nui - Matariki is a provider of abundant resources” This tukutuku panel titled Matariki was woven in 2011 by master weaver Sonia Snowden (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Wai) while at Wehiwehi Marae in Manakau where she spent three years teaching weaving. It is woven in a lattice from kākaho (toetoe stems), split raupō (bulrush), pīngao (golden sand sedge), and kiekie. The patterns employed in the panel are a mix of customary and contemporary. In the lower part of the panel is the pattern purapurawhetu, a design which refers to the stars or star dust. In the upper part of the panel, is a tukutuku design interpretation of the seven star cluster Matariki or Pleiades. Sonia remembers being inspired to weave this tukutuku while looking out at the Tararua Ranges in the morning while Matariki was visible. At the time she wove this panel the general kōrero around Matariki was that the cluster was made up of seven stars. This tukutuku was woven to acknowledge the Māori New Year and speaks to the early reclamation of knowledge surrounding Matariki by Māori.  TukutukuTukutuku, sometimes known as arapaki or tuitui, is a customary weaving art form. It is lattice work wall panels patterned with dyed and undyed strips of harakeke and kiekie leaf and yellow pingao. These decorative panels are found in ancestral houses, usually positioned along the walls between the poupou and epa carvings. It is one of the integral ornamental components of an ancestral house. While still important to the decoration and visual language of wharenui, tukutuku – like many of the diverse art forms found within the ancestral houses – now also exists as a contemporary artform. Weavers have experimented with a number of different materials and designs, and that exploration of design can be seen in this panel.

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  • Title

    Tukutuku Panel named 'Matariki'

  • Maker

    Sonia Snowden

  • Date made


  • Subject

    kiekie (fibre), bulrush, kākaho, pīngao (fibre), Tukutuku, Weaving, wharenui, weaving, Ōtaki, North Island, New Zealand, Te Huringa III: 1950 - present, Māori, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Wai, Sonia Snowden

  • Rights

    All Rights Reserved

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  • Location

    Cable Street, Wellington

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

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  • Text adapted with permission from Te Papa and Digital NZ

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