Tongan Tapa. Ngatu

Women 'ignite a fire' to keep cultural traditions alive

Akomai Heritage have recently completed a week-long interactive exhibition of the inner workings of a koka'anga (ngatu-making work party) with sprawling exhibits of beautiful finished pieces of Tongan ngatu or bark cloth and other koloa at the Te Papa museum in Wellington.

One of the founders of the group, Kaufo'ou Katoa-Taulata, said it stemmed from a desire to strengthen connections to their Tongan culture.

"Ngatu is embedded in every fibre of our culture and our heritage," Katoa-Taulata said.