Story: Flax and flax working

Flax cultivars

Flax cultivars

Māori have always selected different types of flax and grown them in plantations known as harakeke. These cultivars have names, and are used for various purposes. Clockwise from top left: the muka (fibre) of ‘Kōhunga’ is prized for fine cloaks; ‘Ngaro’ has long, strong leaves that are ideal for piupiu (skirts); ‘Paoa’ dries to a bright yellow, good for making patterns in mats and baskets; ‘Oue’ makes very strong kete (baskets).

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Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua
Photographs by Robert Lamberts

© Copyright image. All rights reserved. Permission from Manaaki Whenua: Landcare Research New Zealand Limited must be obtained before the re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Flax and flax working - Māori use of flax', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 April 2024)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 24 Sep 2007