Piupiu are traditionally made from flax, although native grasses can also be used. (The ones on offer to you are made from flax). A sharp shell is used to cut and strip the flax leaf, to soften it and to carve out the areas which will be blackened. When the flax is immersed for a day in a pool of stagnant mud ( which contains iron oxide), the carved out sections turn black. The flax is washed and left to dry in the sun. As the flax dries, it curls into a cylinder. The leaves are fastened to a plaited top, either before or after drying.
Piupiu are worn as part of the Maori dance costume, nowadays usually worn over a black skirt ( women) or black shorts (men). The skirt wraps around and the ends of the plaited section are tied.
The piupiu are made-to-order, which takes 2-4 weeks and we make the piupiu to the waist measurement you require ( please enter your waist size in the Options box above). If you want a more complex pattern than that shown, the cost will be higher, but it is possible to do. The piupiu are made by one of the top New Zealand piupiu makers. Rest assured, your piupiu will be Maori made, authentic, and top quality.
Wear your piupiu with pride, or hang it on the wall as a marvellous, authentic piece of Maori art.