Piu Whiu and Piu Patu:
Commonly known as Poi Piu Traditionally known as Piu Whiu- Made from New Zealand Flax which has been processed in the way that piupiu are made.
The strand are cut from the whānau plant, sized and cut, with the cuts to expose the desired pattern, then scraped with a mussel shell to extract the muka or underlying fibres of the flax which appears like cotton. The completed paired strands are known as pōkinikini, once the pōkinikini are woven then they take on the name of the desired art form such as Piu Whiu or Piupiu (for example).
Piu Whiu are relatively new types of “poi” or traditional hand instruments created for their sound, like the swishing of Piupiu.
They were created around the time of Parihaka and originated from the Taranaki area.
Piu Whiu and Piu Patu (the larger of the two) are used today for added sound to waiata (song) and also can be used to help with Patu (weaponry club) training.
Piu Whiu can be used singularly or in pairs. But preferably used singularly.
Like any naturally made traditional instrument- wear and tear is inevitable, the more you use your Piu Whiu the more you will notice splits in the pōkinikini.
This is natural and shouldn’t affect the overall sound of your Piu Whiu.
From preparation of the flax to the finish Piu Whiu it can take from a week to several weeks depending on the season and weather.
Commercial dyes are utilised with the Arawa Designs Piu Whiu and Piu Patu.
Copyright © Arawa Designs 2022
Arawa Designs can take pre orders, group orders and special orders for individuals looking for custom made Piu Whiu and Piu Patu. For more information, please email us directly.
Tāne Te Manu
Director of Arawa Designs
Tāne Te Manu McRoberts is a Māori weaver and designer of fine and intricate Polynesian attire. Inspired by his ancestral lineage he creates traditional and contemporary works, from natural resources. He has been commissioned to design and create numerous works for cultural groups and private individuals.
Tāne has always held a passion for the Māori Performing Arts through poi and kākahu.
Tāne Te Manu is descendant of Ngāti Mākino & Ngāti Rangitihi- Te Arawa & Te Whānau ā Apanui- Mataatua, Tauria Mai Tawhiti, Te Arawa.
Along with his Māori lineage Tāne acknowledges all his Ancestors of Tahiti, Hawai’i, Native America, Scandinavia, Britannia, Germany and Ireland.
Arawa Designs acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we work, live and create: the Wurundjeri people and Elders past and present of the Kulin nations.