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Michael Tuffery

“Manu Aute Tahi” “Manu Aute Rua”

Manu Atue (Kite) by artist Michel Tuffery. Inspired by the traditional use of Manu Aute and Manu Tukutuku kites during Matariki. This references the excitement of the first sightings of the Matariki stars at dawn – the signal that the new year is about to begin.

Manu Aute is a generic name for Māori kites, but it specifically refers to those covered with the bark of the aute (paper mulberry) tree, which these ones by Michel Tuffery are.

Manu Aute were made in a variety of forms but tended to be in the shape of a bird, a form which is found across the Pacific including Tahiti, Rarotonga and Kiribati. For Michel, kites are a metaphor for renewal. The original Manu Aute could be considered as being the old cellphone network between earth and sky. Kites were used for communication, both as a spiritual connection with ancestors and as a messenger between Pā sites in different locations.