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FREE LESSON / How To Gather Harakeke (NZ Flax)

maori weaving Oct 17, 2021

In this video, Māori weaver and weaving teacher, Veranoa Hetet, shares how to cut and gather Harakeke - NZ Flax (Phormium tenax).

Preparing To Gather Harakeke For Weaving

If you are planning to cut flax for weaving then you can prepare yourself for gathering harakeke by ensuring that you are in a calm state when you go to cut flax and by giving thanks to the plant in your own words for the material it will yield to you.

Saying a karakia or prayer or words that are meaningful to you to acknowledge what you are taking, as way of showing your appreciation is a respectful thing to do. 

Using  your own words (in te reo or another language) will be more meaningful to you than repeating words that you learn by rote. 

Regarding, karakia tuturu (a traditional incantation) - if you know a karakia or prayer someone has taught you then that is fine too. If you have someone in your whānau (family) who may be open to sharing one with you, that could be an another avenue for you to consider. 

However, it doesn't have to be a particular karakia or prayer.

Veranoa also likes to think about the person she is going to weave for before she goes to collect harakeke and while gathering the leaves intended for weaving. 

Note: As mentioned in the video it's not a good idea to gather when the wind is strong. 
Although it sounds windy in the video it was really only a very light breeze.

If you're interested in learning what to do with those long beautiful leaves to turn them into something useful then you can click here for details about our Māori Basketry course.