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Object: Taha huahua (calabash)

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Title Taha huahua (calabash)
Production Unknown, Probably late 1800s, Wairarapa
Medium summary wood, harakeke (Phormium Tenax), gourd (Lagenaria Siceraria)
Materials gourd, wood, harakeke
Classification calabashes
Credit line Gift of Mrs WH Robinson, 1968
Registration number ME012109

Taha huahua were fashioned from dried hollowed hue - gourds (Lagenaria Siceraria), and used to hold preserved foods. They were highly prized, decorated and used as presentation vessels at important feasts or for important guests.

This taha still has a beautifully carved and intact tuki, or carved mouthpiece, attached to the hue with muka binding (extracted fibre from the leaf of the harakeke - New Zealand flax). However, at some stage of its life, the supporting waewae taha (carved supports) and woven supporting frame  have become separated from the container.

This taha huahua was collected by the museum in 1968, donated by Mrs WH Robieson. Her husband had collected it in 1902, purchasing it from Te Whiti Pa in the Wairarapa.

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