'Yuck - hands off our culture': Disgust over Māori designs used by US shopping site

New Zealand Māori have told an international US shopping site to get their "hands off our indigenous culture" for selling bedding decorated with imitations of traditional Tikanga Māori designs.

Facebook page 'Frases Clothing', which appears to be an advertising page for international shopping site Tmarc Tees, listed a series of soft furnishings emblazoned with various forms of sacred indigenous imagery earlier this month.

Among the products for sale are bedspreads, curtains and rugs, all printed with images of wood and bone carvings, koru and Tā Moko 

The site lists the various designs as 'Māori Bedding Sets', and prices for each start at around US$76.00.

A listing for bedding emblazoned with Maori design
Photo credit: Tmarc Tees Website.

One of the designs is listed as 'Māori Haka Dance Brown Bedding Set', while another listed as 'We Are Family' places traditional New Zealand and Aboriginal designs side-by-side, separated by a row of poppies.

A listing for bedding with both Maori and Aboriginal design
Photo credit: Tmarc Tees .

According to its website, Tmarc Tees is based in Newark in the United States and also has a representative office in Hanoi, Vietnam.

While it's unclear if the designers consulted with any New Zealand Māori artists or designers in the design process, after images of the items were listed on Facebook, Māori Facebook users made their feelings clear.

"Yuck! Hands off our Indigenous culture! This design shouldn't even be on things like this," one person wrote.

"This is just wrong… seeing a shower curtain with a picture of our Tupana on it is disgusting," wrote another.

"Please tell me where the f**k you get off stealing the designs of my culture and putting them on things to make money? Take these and anything else you have stolen from other cultures off your website or expect lawsuits," wrote another.

"You people should know those designs are tapu (sacred) ie come with the wairua (spirit) of the tupuna (ancestors)," added another.

Tmac Tees has been approached by Newshub for comment.