Story: Māori clothing and adornment – kākahu Māori

Ruhia Pōrutu's kaitaka paepaeroa (1st of 3)

Ruhia Pōrutu's kaitaka paepaeroa

This magnificent kaitaka paepaeroa (fine flax cloak with vertical weft rows and tāniko borders) has a unique history. It belonged to a woman of high status who had considerable mana. In traditional society, the mana of such people permeated their belongings. In 1840 it this cloak saved the life of a young European immigrant who had inadvertently breached the laws of tapu. Its owner threw her cloak over the boy, placing him under her personal protection.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: I.006380

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Awhina Tamarapa and Patricia Wallace, 'Māori clothing and adornment – kākahu Māori - Ngā taonga tuku iho – traditional Māori dress', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/40980/ruhia-porutus-kaitaka-paepaeroa (accessed 19 February 2020)

Story by Awhina Tamarapa and Patricia Wallace, published 5 Sep 2013