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Ministry of Education.
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“Ngatu: Keeping the Tradition Alive”, School Journal, level 2, June 2018

25 June 2018

The first two pages of Ngatu: Keeping the Tradition Alive, photographs of the women seated around a table as they prepare to make ngatu (tapa cloth)

Megan and Lita are cousins who belong to the Tongan community in Wellington. This article describes how every week they come together with their mothers, grandmothers, and other women and girls to learn about Tongan culture and how to make ngatu (tapa cloth).

You can find the article and the teaching notes here: Ngatu: Keeping the Tradition Alive, School Journal, level 2, June 2018

Other useful resources

Technology Online Webinar: Collaboration on a project making a tīvaevae quilt

Sarah Wirth from Samuel Marsden Collegiate shares her ideas about year 11 textiles students working collaboratively on a project.

Using tāniko to introduce design

A technology teacher introduces design in textiles through an exploration of tāniko (a traditional form of weaving). See the learning about tāniko tab in particular.

Discussion questions

  • What do the students understand as the made, natural, and social world?
  • How does making ngatu relate to each of these worlds?
  • What are the materials used in making the ngatu and the materials used in making tivaevae quilts, taniko panels, and kākahu?
  • Performance properties of materials refer to such things as thermal and electrical conductivity, water resistance, texture, flexibility, colour, etc. What are the performance properties of the materials used in making ngatu, tivaevae quilts, taniko panels and kākahu?
  • Manipulating materials refers to "working" existing materials in ways that do not change their properties as their composition and structure is not altered. For example, cutting, moulding, bending, jointing, gluing, painting. How have the materials been manipulated in making ngatu, tivaevae quilts, taniko panels and kākahu?
  • Materials are selected for products as a result of their performance properties. Suggest why the materials were chosen for making ngatu, tivaevae quilts, taniko panels and kākahu on the basis of their performance properties? 

Indicators of progression for discussion starters

Component Indicator Level
Characteristics of technology
  • describe the relationship between technology and the made, natural, and social world
Technological products
  • describe the performance properties of a range of materials and use these to suggest things the materials could be used for
  • describe feasible ways of manipulating a range of materials
  • suggest why the materials used in particular technological products were selected

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