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kuta Play

1. (noun) tall spike sedge, great spike rush, bamboo spike-sedge, Eleocharis sphacelata - a rush growing to about 1 m which spreads from a creeping rhizome and has thick hollow stems of bright green. Found throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand in swamps and on lake edges and is often partially submerged. The soft, flattened, hollow stalks (culms) of kuta are a popular resource for weavers. The long culms are harvested, placed under matting for about 3 days to flatten, then woven into soft hats, mats, and kete. Kuta dries to an attractive golden-brown shade.

Synonyms: kūkuta, kutakuta

2. (noun) maro made of the kuta rush - worn by women.

Ko ngā wāhine moe tāne he pakimaero te kaka, he kuta, te whatu he mea herehere, ā, he harakeke toetoe ai kia pēnei te whara o ngā tuwhara nei te rarahi, ka mea ai he aka kāī, he aka mangemange, he aka tororaro rānei ka nati ai ki runga, ka rite ki te hope o te wahine, ki te ponaturi ka mutu (JPS 1928:177). / The married women wore a kilt fashioned from kuta, made by tying them together, also from flax split into strips about as wide as those used in making course floor mats, and these were fastened onto a kāī [Podocarpus spicatus] branch, bushman's mattress vine [Lygodium articulatum], or wire vine [Muehlenbeckia complexa] and made to fit the waist of the woman, and it extended down to her knees.

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