Cook islands-Arts & Craft

A DigitalNZ Story by Janice

Wood carving, weaving and tivaevae from the Cook Islands.

Cook Islands, Cook Islands- arts and craft

COOK ISLANDS - ARTS AND CTRAFTS

Povi Christkeke

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Cook Islands located in the Pacific Islands is famous for its wood carving, weaving and tivaevae quilts. 

Material for weaving comes from the pandanus plants and coconut tree. Mats for sitting on, baskets, hats, fans and fishing traps are some the the things crafted from these materials. 

The world famous tivaevae quilts are are not just works of art, but have important roles and functions. Groups of highly skilled women come together to co-ordinate the colours of the fabric, cut shapes, and sew the quilts whilst catching up on communal news. This precious heirloom is presented at special occasions such as baptisms, birthdays, hair cutting ceremonies and weddings. The art of sewing was taught to Cook Island women by the missionaries, which they then developed to make it their own with their unique patterns and art. 

Wood carving is another popular art in the Cook Islands. Rarotonga is famous for its carving of the fisherman's gods. 

A lot of effort is being made to keep these arts and crafts alive by cultivating an interest for their heritage in the minds of the young. 

Tivaevae manu (applique quilt)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Tivaevae tataura (embroidered quilt) and pillow cases

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Kana-'akari (coconut grating stool)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Tivaevae stencil

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Thimble

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Atamira (seat)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Auaro tivaevae manu

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Native Group

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Tā'iri (fan)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Anga (tapa cloth)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Ruatangaeo (ceremonial adze)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Tangaroa carving, Cook Islands

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Kumete (bowl)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Artworks by Ani O'Neill

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Pacific women's craft exhibition

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage