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.


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.