Clothing the Pandemic

A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World

Kafa Kollective Mask

Made by Sosefina Filo-Masoe of the Kafa Kollective, this mask is fashioned from tapa cloth, kafa (sennit), calico and cotton. The Kafa Kollective consists of seven Pasifika tertiary students employed as academic and creative mentors to undergraduates at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University. Formed in 2020 after Aotearoa New Zealand’s national lockdown, the group named themselves after kafa, the Tongan word for coconut sennit. A resource known for its strength and flexibility, the kafa cord is commonly used for lashings of houses, canoes, weapons and tools across the Pacific. Inspired by the resilient qualities of kafa, the collective use it as a metaphor to encourage themselves and their mentees, experiencing a new norm in the wake of Covid-19. After being gifted tapa cloth and kafa, Sosefina Filo-Masoe decided to make a bespoke mask that ‘proudly represents us’ (Pasifika) and ‘reminds us of how strong our ancestors were’.

Sosefina Filo-Masoe, Sāmoan/New Zealand

September 2020

Designed in Wellington, New Zealand

Made in Wellington, New Zealand

Tapa cloth, kafa (sennit), calico, cotton

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


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