Friday 5th December 2008
Mahi Piupiu – Making a Piupiu
with Cathy Schuster
5pm at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
In this presentation we will explore the making of this highly valued garment, still worn by Maori performance groups throughout Aotearoa. The use of traditional tools, techniques, and dyes makes this a fascinating process.
Participants will have the chance to try their hand at extracting muka (fibre) from harakeke (New Zealand flax), and also to see archive film of the piupiu in performance in the 1920’s.
This presentation will be led by Cathy Schuster (Tauiwi). Cathy is a full-time weaver with over 30 years experience in the art of Maori weaving. Her passion was inspired by her late mother-in-law, Emily, a renowned master weaver both in New Zealand and internationally. Cathy specialises in the use of traditional fibres and techniques across a range of weaving styles including kakahu (cloaks), piupiu (skirts) and turapa ( woven wall panels). She is involved in restoration projects and the teaching of these skills on marae-based projects, often alongside her husband and mentor, Jim. The preserving of traditional Maori Arts is an integral part of Cathy’s life as a weaver, which she sees as an important way of ‘giving back’, to those who have shared their knowledge with her.
Cathy’s work has been exhibited both in New Zealand and overseas, and she has completed a number of commissioned pieces, as well as producing many sets of piupiu for performing arts groups around the country and in England.
For further information or to book a place at this talk, please contact the Museum’s Outreach Organiser, Sarah-Jane Harknett, on 01223 764769 or email firstname.lastname@example.org