Patu Muka , Maori Flax Beater
A very heavy Patu Muka, Māori Stone Flax Fibre Pounder 19th Century or earlier. Beautifully worn on handle and beating sides. L20cm.D6CM
The patu muka with basalt ovoid body shape and short grip. Used in the preparation of muka by beating the fibres extracted from New Zealand flax (harakeke), to produce traditional Māori clothing, particularly cloaks. The leaves of the flax were scraped and the fibre stripped away, washed and bleached in the sun. It was then rolled into hanks which were beaten on a flat stone to soften the fibre. The weft was completed by finger twining to create the cloth, without a loom.