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Ngatu revival coming to Auckland Arts Festival

08 March 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

A mother and daughter collaboration that's led to the revival of ngatu-making in the Tongan village of Falevai launches this weekend as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.

Photo/ Supplied. 

Sulieti Fieme'a Burrows and daughter Tui Emma Gillies have been guest exhibitors in Europe, the UK and Australia, and their ngatu adorn the walls of museums around the country.

Mangere Arts Centre curator Hannah Scott says ngatu-making in Falevai has not been practiced for decades due to the decline in the number of mulberry trees.

"Their practice is very much about resurrecting that tradition in Falevai," she says. "There's some pretty good evidence that the earliest examples of tapa (ngatu) come from Tonga."

"It is a very beautiful story of travelling back, and mother and daughter having the skill to give that back to the community that it came from."

The Falevai Flava exhibition will be launched this weekend by Manukau East MP Jenny Salesa.