Identification and Use of Plant Material for the Manufacture of New Zealand Indigenous Woven Objects

Rua Elizabeth McCallum, Debra Julie Carr


Significant collections of objects manufactured by Māori are held, prized and exhibited by cultural institutions such as the Bishop, British, Field and Pitt Rivers Museums; and Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand). This article describes plant material(s) used to construct woven objects from New Zealand by gathering mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) and diverse interdisciplinary academic literature. This article is written from an insider perspective predominantly using southern Māori[i] terminology and names; translations and a glossary are provided. Plant descriptions, harvesting, processing and use are discussed; thereby informing the researcher and affording appropriate respect and representation to the plant from which the object is derived.

[i] In this article southern Māori are defined as the tribal group who claim a genealogical connection to Rapuwai, Hāwea, Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu who traditionally resided in the area bounded by the Waitaki River southward and inland to the Southern Alps.

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Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University.
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