Topic: Arts

Te Kiri o Tāne – a journey of rediscovery

By Leah Te Whata
  • Auckland

For the past 4 years, Nikau Hindin has explored the lost art of Māori tapa beating. Her journey of rediscovery is currently on display at the Papakura Art Gallery.

Rediscovering the art of Māori tapa beating has been no easy feat for Nikau Hindin.

According to Hindin, “The aute plant became extinct and that was really why the process was lost.”

With no surviving pieces of Māori tapa in existence, Hindin has relied on 9 remaining patu aute from Auckland Museum to act as physical evidence to prove that tapa was part of Māori material culture.

“We know they’re tapa beaters because they have fine grooves in them so I used them as a reference point to make my own tools and replicated them and through the tools, you can kind of glean the process.”

By bringing awareness to this kaupapa Hindin hopes that people will become motivated and interested enough to start exploring the bark of the aute tree and to continue the practice of this traditional art form.

Her final exhibition – Te Kiri o Tāne: Māori Tapa is currently on display at the Papakura Art Gallery.