Turuturu are weaving pegs used to keep a garment off the ground when it is being made. The main peg is the right one and can be elaborately decorated. It represents the mana of Te Whare Pora—the knowledge-bank of the art-form. The peg itself upholds the mana of the growing garment and it spiritually connects the maker to the world of thought and concentration. The peg also grounds the maker so they do not get lost in their intellectual world.
Knowledge of how to prepare materials, use them and create pieces is the true taonga of Te Whare Pora. If the knowledge is lost, there is no way more can be created. Old pieces such as the ones in this room contain a wealth of knowledge when observed carefully. That is part of their inherent value as passive teachers.
All the pieces in this exhibition are hand-made. Fingers are the main tools. With skill and dexterity, materials are prepared then manipulated. Feathers are used to artistic effect. Natural fibres are what links all of these taonga together. The results are pieces of function and beauty. Ano me he whare pungawerewere—as if it were a spider’s web.
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