Although it appears plain and uncomfortable in comparison with elaborate dress cloaks, this type of rain cape, known as a kahu tōī, was a prestige garment worn by warriors. It was made from the fibre of tōī, or mountain cabbage tree, rather than flax. This cape demonstrates careful design and workmanship, and its heavy kurupatu, or collar, could resist a blow from a hand weapon. When finished, the kahu tōī was dyed black by being soaked in a mordant (a dyeing solution) and trodden in paru (mud rich in iron oxide), and it remained waterproof for many years.
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