Traditional Maori kites part of cultural workshop

George (9, left) and Meisha Romeril (8) try out their kites at a Manu Tukutuku workshop, held as...
George (9, left) and Meisha Romeril (8) try out their kites at a Manu Tukutuku workshop, held as part of the Puaka Matariki Festival, at Orokonui Ecosanctuary on Saturday. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Children building kites also got a chance to learn about Maori culture over the weekend.

A workshop held at Orokonui Ecosanctuary drew dozens of children and their families to learn about manu tukutuku — the art of building traditional Maori kites — on Saturday.

The kites, built from natural materials including those gathered from around the ecosanctuary, were a "fun, crafty activity" that also celebrated Maori culture, ecosanctuary general manager Amanda Symon said.

The kites had long been associated with the rise of Puaka and the Matariki cluster, heralding the Maori New Year, and the workshop formed part of the Puaka Matariki Festival being held in Dunedin until July 22.

The workshop was among a range of festival events held over the weekend in Dunedin, which also included everything from short film screenings, Puaka Matariki portrait photography, a contemporary Maori dance workshop and a "mend and make awesome" workshop teaching upcycling.

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