Hue is a calabash, gourd, gourd plant, Lagenaria siceraria - a cultivated plant. The hard shell of the fruit is used for a variety of purposes. Kowhaiwhai designs have been carved into the ceramic, the design carries with it connotations and associations of ‘authority by descent’ (genealogical mana).
Another example that illustrates the correlation between kowhaiwhai and that of inherited power and authority is the use of incised kowhaiwhai patterns on gourd water vessels owned by those of high-birth. Gourds belonging to commoners were left plain. Other gourds cut lengthwise to form an open oval bowl and said to be used to receive the afterbirth of a highborn baby, were similarly decorated with kowhaiwhai patterns. The link between the gourd plant (hue) and kowhaiwhai patterns is well illustrated in the proverb;
He kawai hue, he kawai tangata.
Human pedigrees are like the runners of a gourd plant.
Richard Tay lor (1855:155)