The art of kolose
Kolose is the Tuvaluan word for a unique form of crochet. A modern and innovative technique, kolose is used in creating Tuvaluan attire and ornamentations such as gatu kolose (crocheted tops) and petticoats used in dance and on special occasions, and wall hangings used in homes. The combination of patterns and colour schemes are highly distinctive of the kolose artform. This standout body of art works was acquired into the Museum’s collection in 2014.
The makers are members of Fafine Niutao I Aotearoa, an Auckland-based arts collective of women from Niutao, Tuvalu, established in 2012. The collective is committed to creating and sharing Tuvaluan art, and particularly to teach kolose to the young generation. This inspirational work led to their exhibition Kolose: The Art of Tuvalu Crochet at Mangere Arts Centre Ngā Tohu o Uenuku (2014), curated by Marama T-Pole and Kolokesa Mahina-Tuai. The exhibition also went on tour to Lake House Arts Centre (2014) and Pātaka Art Museum (2017).
Explore the art of kolose in the gallery below. Click on each image to learn the unique story behind each piece.