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Manu Tukutuku

Manu tukutuku are traditional Māori kites. There are many different types of kites: for starters you might want to start with a simple design. Manu tukutuku can be used for fun but they can be used for serious business too. Like in the dead of night Māori warriors from another tribe would tie one person underneath and fly him over the walls of an enemy pā, and then he would let people in. Another way to use the kite is to have it fly up in the air to foretell the future. For example, if the kite is steady that means the battle will go well but if it ducks and dives that means the battle will go badly. Lastly, they can be used in competitions.

In Room 15 we have been making manu tukutuku. A manu tukutuku is a traditional Māori kite.
My frame was a triangle and it was made out of toi toi. You need to measure the width of the frame. Next I got about 35 long, thick and dry pieces of raupō.

I laid them across the frame. I tied them at the bottom. Once I had done that, I got a long piece of string and did a cross lashing all the way down to the end.
I did it for the other part of the frame too.
Then I started decorating it. I got four pieces of flax and wove two flax flowers. Then I wove them on to my manu tukutuku. I stripped the other two pieces of flax and threaded them in.
Then the last thing was attaching the string. That is how I made my manu tukutuku.

Making manu tukutuku (traditional Maori kites) was fun, and we learned heaps about how the early Māori settlers made and used different plants to make all sorts of things. They wove bags, mats and clothes from New Zealand flax.
For our manu tukutuku we used raupō (bulrush), toi toi, wool, and some of us used flax too.
First, we had to make our frame with toi toi. Then we used raupō or flax and cross hatched them to the toi toi. Lastly, we decorated our manu tukutuku and they looked beautiful. I’m very proud of our work and hopefully I can make another one again in the future.

By Lillian, Anika, Jonty, Samuel and Hayley.

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