Thursday, November 15, 2007

Elton to Wear Maori Suit


Pop king Elton John is set to swap his sequinned jacket for a feather cloak (korowai) at his concert in New Zealand next month.

The cloak was made by Nelson iwi Ngati Koata after John reportedly met a New Zealander overseas wearing one and liked it.

His order is a coup for the iwi's fledgling company, Koata Krafts.

The korowai will be presented by Taranaki iwi Te Ati Awa when John performs at his December 6 concert in New Plymouth.

Koata Kraft's Christchurch sales and marketing manager, Jared Riwai-Couch, said he encouraged buyers to show off their cloaks, which are like pieces of art, rather than hide them away.

"In years to come they can tell their grandchildren where they have been worn and why."

The contemporary-styled cloaks are made from imported and treated bird feathers, including cockerel, ostrich and guinea fowl.

The cloaks are made at the iwi's central Nelson shop by three Ngati Koata women.

The cloaks are priced from $450 to $2000.

Most sales have been to Kiwis, both Maori and Pakeha, but tourists bought them, too, said Jared Riwai-Couch.

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