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Tongan designs inspire T-shirts produced at art workshop

TONGAN INFLUENCE: Elgin School’s Teremoana Cummings and Tretana Stafford with their tapa-inspired hand-painted T-shirts, with their classmates and teachers from Rooms 1 and 2. Picture by Liam Clayton

GISBORNE, New Zealand-June 22: 1:36pm(Gisborne Herald): An Art workshop at the Whirikoka Campus at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Gisborne is one of many Matariki events taking place this week.

Educators Julie Noanoa and Iona Maxwell from Tairawhiti Museum led the workshop.

Ms Noanoa said the group watched a video of traditional Tongan tapa being made before working on their own designs.

“We showed them different types of traditional tapa designs, including ngatu from Tonga and siapo from Samoa.

“Our objective was to highlight the connection of the origins of Maori from Hawaiikinui.

“Matariki was a tradition brought with the first people from the islands. In the islands there are numerous stories about Matariki, known by different names.

Designs in the Tongan tapa inspired the students’ T-shirt designs.

“The kids designed their own stencils and used a stippling paint technique to paint on the fabric paint. They were dried with blow-dryers to set the paint.”

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