Clothing the Pandemic

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

Muka Face Mask

The muka face mask was woven by celebrated weaver Matthew McIntrye-Wilson (Taranaki, Ngā Māhanga and Tahiti) during New Zealand’s first lockdown, and is made from aho poka of muka, short wefts that, when woven in a particular way, mirror the concertina folds of a surgical mask. After seeing the concertina folds of a surgical mask, Matthew thought he could employ the aho poka weaving technique, where there is no introduction or reduction of whenu (warp threads), and can be used to round the weaving in the same way as a surgical mask. In drawing on these techniques, he also invests the mask with the protective qualities associated with kaitaka and pāke (types of cloaks).

Matthew McIntyre-Wilson (Taranaki, Ngā Māhanga and Titahi), New Zealand

March 2020

Designed in Wellington, New Zealand

Made in Wellington, New Zealand

Muka (New Zealand flax fibre); tānekaha dye; whatu aho rua (two-pair weft-twining)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


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