Make Your Own Pātaka

As the cluster of Matariki stars disappear in autumn it marks the time to harvest and preserve kai (food) ready for the cold winter months ahead.

PātakaKai was preserved for trade with other iwi (tribes), for long journeys or for when kai was in short supply.

Māori had many ways of preserving kai including smoking over fire, sun drying on racks and potting in containers with fat. Birds were preserved in pōhā (kelp bags) or in hue (gourds).

The pātaka (food storehouse) was used to keep the kai safe and away from scavengers.

At the time of Matariki the pātaka was full of mahinga kai – food gathered ready for the feast.

Download the PDF below to make your own model pātaka.