Click here to view image

Back to Focus:
Technique and Dimensions:

Plant fibres: Phormium tenax (harakeke)


C.D.A.479, Legato Cap.E.A. D'Albertis, 1932


Second half of 19th century

Garment formed by strips of worked harakeke leaves, improperly called "linen"; the result is segmented ribbons that hang freely and follow the movement of the body in an oscillation that is precisely the meaning of the term maori piupiu.
It is worn in its variants, by men, women and children. Today it tends to replace "linen" with wool and plastic.
On the occasion of dances, the piupiu is accompanied by a pair of then - small spheres of harakeke (Phormium tenax) - held between the fingers by dancers and rhythmically moved.