Tales of Te Papa resource masthead



Episode:45Te Papa Collection:Taonga Māori

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 8

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, The Arts: Understanding the Arts in Context Developing Ideas

Description:Matthew McIntyre-Wilson – A tatua was to a Māori warrior what a holster is to a cowboy. It's a type of belt made to carry a weapon, and for Māori they were woven from flax. Now traditional tatua have been recreated in silver.

Questions for students

  1. Explain what tatua are in your own words. How were they traditionally made and used?
  2. Use the 'Comparisons' response template to compare the materials used in traditional tatua with the materials used by Matthew McIntyre-Wilson.
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of creating tatua with metals compared with harakeke (flax)? What other differences are there between traditional and modern examples of tatua?
  4. The presenter explains that weavers have 'taken him under their wing to encourage him to get more involved in the tikanga of the practice.' Discuss the boundaries between art and craft, and between traditional and modern ways of doing things. What conclusions can you draw?
  5. What inspiration could you take from this Tale? Use the 'Ideas' response template to develop ideas for your own work. Make brief notes about any specific ideas you would like to research and explore further.

Related templates: