Kahu Ora showcases the world's largest collection of Māori cloaks – among the most precious taonga (treasures) to Māori and stunning in their artistry and diversity.
These are living cloaks. They carry powerful stories of their weavers and wearers. They are a continuing link between ancestors and descendants. They reveal great innovation – past and present.
This art of cloak-making is thriving again today. At the heart of the exhibition is the live Weavers’ Studio, where you can meet and watch expert weavers in action.
The latest research on Māori weaving underpins Kahu Ora. Learn about great weavers of the past and present. Explore moving stories associated with prestigious cloaks and their chiefly owners. Discover the science and technology that underpin their artistry. Meet the researchers who have helped uncover and revive cloak-making practices once thought to be lost.
the world’s only remaining cloak stitched from whole dog skins
a cloak that contains more than 12,000 feathers
a one-of-a-kind cloak with three tāniko borders, on loan from Australia
a contemporary art installation by Maureen Lander.
Whatu Kākahu│Māori Cloaks – Te Papa Press
Whatu Kākahu│Māori Cloaks, edited by curator Awhina Tamarapa, adds another dimension to the exhibition. This sumptuous book features contributions from expert weavers and researchers, supported by vibrant photographs and diagrams.
Many of the cloaks featured in the book are also on display in the exhibition.
Buy the book at Te Papa’s online store
Kahu Ora is the result of collaboration with numerous weavers and researchers. We sincerely thank you all for your partnership and guidance.