A79_960a.jpg Kahu Kiwi. Collection of Puke Ariki (A79.960).

This beautiful kahu kiwi (kiwi feather cloak) was acquired by Taranaki Museum in 1922 from a member of the Tume family from Pūrangi. Many garments from this era show the weaver’s willingness to experiment with new materials and to incorporate non-traditional fibres like wool and cotton while maintaining the forms and styles of a customary Māori garment. Dyed wools provided an avenue of easy access to new textures and vibrant colours that could be used to highlight designs and patterns. Also many have feathers from introduced domestic and game birds such as pheasants alongside native bird species. In this example fowl feathers fringe those of the kiwi.

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