Ten people chose gourds from a Whanganui garden and made them into musical instruments with sounds similar to the calls of native birds on Saturday.

The one-day Nga Waiata o Hine Pu te Hue workshop was at the Sarjeant Gallery, tutor Elise Goodge said. She had grown the hue (gourds) herself, in her garden.

They can be made into a variety of instruments, koauau, nguru and putangitangi (types of flute), shaken instruments, an instrument swung like a poi and an instrument used by blowing across the top of a hollow hue and said to sound like the booming call of a kokako.

In the morning Ms Goodge talked about the process of planting and growing hue. Then participants each chose their own hue and cleaned and prepared it.

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In the afternoon they made and decorated their instruments, with Whanganui sculptor Aaron Te Rangiao Gardiner helping with the decoration.

Most of the participants made various kinds of flute, with a few making hue rara - rattles where the seeds inside the gourd are shaken for sound.

"It was good fun," Ms Goodge said.