What are Tukutuku?

The Maori people brought a culture, which included tukutuku patterns, from Polynesia hundreds of years ago. Tukutuku panels are decorative wall panels that were part of the traditional wall construction used inside meeting houses.
This method of construction created a warm, insulating type of decorative wallboard. When used nowadays, tukutuku panels are created for their artistic appeal.

Stitches were combined to form a variety of patterns. Some of the traditional tukutuku patterns are:
1. Patiki (flounder)
2. Ripeka (cross)
3. Poutama (stairway to heaven)
4. Tapatoru (triangle)
5. Kaokao (armpit)
6. Niho Taniwha (teeth of the monster).
7. Roimata Toroa (the tears of the albatross)

These are simplistic explanations and each has a much deeper spiritual meaning. Maori are accomplished storytellers and these patterns are another way of illustrating their tales. See more about the individual meanings in the following pages. See photos of these panels at: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Maori/Puawaitanga/TukutukuPanels/#PurapuraWhetu

Use this piece of text for a literacy exercise - see my Literacy in Maths wiki