Breathing new life into 200-year-old korowai

By Te Ao - Māori News

The unveiling ceremony is the final stage of Māori tangihanga protocol following the death of a whānau member.  Recently at Paratene Te Manu Marae in Northland, they are giving their korowai a new life.

Such special cloaks are becoming more of a rarity so to have a taonga like this to use on special occasions has to be an honour. 

This 200-year-old kiwi cloak was woven by a renowned Te Arawa weaver.

"This one is made by Emily Schuster, she made it for my people in the rural area of Te Kohuhu of Mangakahia to Te Uri Roroi Te Māhurehure at Te Whatitiri and our kaumātua gave her these feathers to make it with."

While it is now illegal to kill birds for cloak-making the Department of Conservation donates feathers of roadkill birds to keep the art growing.