Pūtorino (bugle flute)

Making a pūtorino 

Warren Warbrick is an expert in the art of making taonga puoro (traditional Māori musical instruments). He uses traditional tools such as pounamu (greenstone) adzes and gouges, tiger-shark tooth implements, bird bones, and hand drills - with obsidian, pumice, and sea shells for surface finishing.

In these clips, Warren shows how he makes a pūtorino, a deep-toned flute. The shape of this instrument is based on the cocoon of the case moth, and the sound that it makes is said to be the voice of the goddess Hineraukatauri.

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Clip 1

Warren uses tōtara wood to make the pūtorino. He takes a piece and splits it in two with an adze, then binds the two parts together with muka or processed flax fibre.

Warren uses his hands to find the centre of the instrument, which he marks by making a hole with the tiger-shark tooth implement.

Low bandwidth (mpg, 894kb) | Medium bandwidth (mpg, 1.91MB), 0:35

Clip 2

Warren shapes the bottom of the pūtorino, binds one end, and then turns the instrument to shape the top. He uses a large heavy toki or adze for carving and a lighter one for finishing. He uses mata or obsidian to further smooth the surface. The nature of tōtara grain allows the pieces to fit back together easily.

Low bandwidth (mpg, 1.03MB) | Medium Bandwidth (mpg, 2.06 MB), 1:09

Clip 3

Warren uses pumice to finish smoothing the outside of the instrument. He uses a pounamu gouge to hollow out the inside of the instrument, and albatross bones as fine chisels for detailed work.

Low bandwidth (mpg, 934kb) | Medium bandwidth (mpg, 1.82MB), 0:37

Clip 4

Warren uses a traditional tūwiri (drill) to make the mouth-hole. When necessary, the drill bit is dipped in water to cool the stone down. Warren uses basalt rock to smooth off the hole and a pounamu chisel to put finishing touches to both ends. The instrument is scraped once again with obsidian and pumice. Then the two halves are glued with flax resin and bound together with muka - and a new pūtorino sings!

Low bandwidth (mpg, 1.92MB) | High bandwidth (mpg, 2.48MB), 1:34