Monday, 13 March 2017

How to make traditional Cook Island pillows

After reading 'Kapok for a Cushion' by Jill MacGregor the X-Men sequenced the steps in making a kapok cushion.



In the Cook Islands, people traditionally used ‘kapok’ as a filling for cushions and pillows. Kapok is a natural fibre found in large, woody pods from trees found in plantations. To make a kapok cushion you will need to follow these steps.

 First you need to buy or make a cushion cover. You may like to decorate it in a traditional tivaevae leaf pattern to represent your Cook Island culture. Alternatively you may like to use koru or images of a taniwha if you were Maori, images of kangaroos or aboriginal patterns if you are Australian and hibiscus or frangipani images to represent your Pacific Island culture.

Next go to the kapok trees, these are usually found in plantations. Collect the ‘kapok’ fibres from the pods that have fell to the ground. The pods would have opened in the hot sun and spread their fibres across the ground. Use a weaved basket to collect the fibres because a plastic bag is bad for the environment. Plastic takes a long time to decompose and bags fill up landfills. In small island nations it is important to cut down on waste.

 After you have collected the fibres spread them out on a mat to dry in the sun because if you don’t the moist fibres in the cushion can begin to smell bad over time. Once the fibres are dry pick out as many seeds as you can.

 Finally stuff the fibres into the cushion cover and sew up the cushion. The cushion is now ready to use, however if you have an allergy to kapok you should use foam rubber or synthetic cushions and pillows instead. We believe our sequence is relational as we have sequenced the steps in order and used because to add more detail to the steps. We used sequence SOLO language such as finally, next, step and first. To be extended abstract we need to look at the sequence in a new way by looking at how cushions are made in other countries, other goods produced in the Cook Islands and how the cushions are produced on a mass scale.

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