In the recently released doco, Mō Te Iwi: Carving For The People, Rangi Hetet speaks about his teacher, Hone (John) Taiapa, more than 60 years after he learned whakairo under the renowned master carver.
"I thank my teacher, John." - Rangi Hetet says at 82 years of age
Our father, Rangi's acknowledgement of his teacher, as the source of his own knowledge and skills, is an example of the tikanga of honouring one's teacher.
This tikanga (way of doing things based on traditional Māori values) is something that can sometimes be overlooked by students of the traditional arts. In this post we discuss the tikanga of honouring your teacher within Te Whare Pora (the house of weaving). If you're a carver - the same principles apply.
It helps to think of Te Whare Pora as a state of being more than just a place where weaving happens. If Te Whare Pora is built...
It is very hard to look at a piece you have woven and see it for what it is.
It is so common for weavers, of all abilities, to be critical of their work. So often we look at our weaving and see only what we deem to be faults. It’s too crooked, there’s a mistake in that ara, the weaving is not tight enough, the weaving is too tight, the tension is out, the colour is wrong, the size is out of proportion…. the list of faults goes on.
This can be very helpful in that it may urge you on to weave tighter or to adjust your tension or to be more mindful of the preparation of materials. It can also be very harmful in that it can crush your confidence in yourself and in your hands.
It is very important to find a balance in your self critiquing of your weaving. It is very important to always remember that weaving is a series of lessons that will continue to teach you for as long as you are weaving.
The next time you hear that critical voice inside your head I would...
This feature-length documentary film tells the story of traditional carver, Rangi Hetet. Now 82, Rangi is one of the last remaining carvers of a group, led by Hone Taiapa, called 'Konae Aronui'. For those who know little about whakairo, the film gives an insight into the life of a carver and the maintenance of the art forms indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand.
The World premiere of the film Mo Te Iwi: Carving For The People was held in on Sunday, 28 July at Soundings Theatre, Te Papa.
The film also screened in Auckland and Christchurch at the NZ International Film Festival.
Nōu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai tatou kātoa.
With your food basket, with my food basket, all of us will prosper.
The rourou speaks so well about co-operation and it is one of the simplest and most quickly woven of baskets. A perfect 'bowl' for kai (well, most foods - except soup).
It is a five-cornered basket like the one pictured here woven by one of our online students - Bybi Clarke
Whereas, the kono is a simple four-cornered basket.
Even though they may look the same, they are actually quite different baskets.
You might like to check out our article about why weaving kono can make you a better weaver.
Pictured below are kono woven by Veranoa Hetet.
23 October 2018 Te Papa National Museum, Wellington New Zealand
The Open Source Awards
The awards dinner for The NZ Open Source Awards ended on a high note for Māori weaving when Chris Cormack announced one final, special award for the evening to recognise the Weaving Online in Prison Pilot project.
"I desperately want to get to my weaving but I feel like there's no time!"
Is not being able to find time to weave getting you down?
Break the weaving drought with these 7 top tips:
#1 Make a Date with Your Weaving
There are only 24 hours in a day. No more. No less. Scheduling time can make it possible to find more time to weave. Try to be realistic.
Decide on a day or night that you will make your 'date with weaving' time. Treat it like a date - make sure the kids are taken care of, make a special space in your home for that weaving time, get yourself and everything ready. Turn up for your date. No rain checks or brush-offs.
#2 Start with a small project
Being over-ambitious can sometimes be counter-productive but if you start with something small, that can be achieved in a short space of time, it can swing you into action knowing that you can get your weaving project done.
#3 Try not attempting too many tasks at once - like gathering,...
Matariki is a time when the crisp, cool of early nights draws you inside to hunker down and turn inwards. It's the perfect time to start planting the seeds of your weaving dreams and make plans to bring those dreams to reality.
If you've been thinking about weaving kākahu, especially something like a korowai, then winter in the southern hemisphere is the time to begin honing your skills for the mammoth task that weaving a korowai is. (If you're in the northern hemisphere from June-August then you'll be thinking about harvesting for raranga).
Taaniko is the best thing to learn and practise first because it's one of those great indoor activities to do when you want to snuggle up on the sofa, keep warm and shut out the rest of the world.
Once you've honed your taaniko skills through the winter months you'll be able to move on to hieke by the spring and by the time summer comes, you'll be finishing that hieke...
Of all the lessons we teach in Raranga, possibly THE most important one is Kono. This simple four-cornered basket really is the humble beginning of many a great weaver.
So why are kono so important to learn to weave?
Here are three of the best reasons you should learn to weave kono:
#1 You will learn to find your ara (weaving pathway) and keep it
#2 You will learn to make corners easier on a smaller item (such as a kono) first rather than a bigger item such as a kete
#3 You will be able to practise, practise, practise until you acquire the Raranga technique because you will be able to make many more kono one after the other and in doing so you will get more effective practise.
It could be argued (and you may be thinking this yourself) that you could learn those same things by weaving a kete. However, we'd like you to consider this:
Learning to weave a kono first, before you dive headlong into weaving kete, is a really great strategy because...
Made for tv.
In another life, for almost a decade, I ran our family gallery at Waiwhetu and I owned Koha Gift stores in Queensgate Hutt City and North City Shopping Malls, Porirua. I have sold many an artwork on behalf of my whānau and other artists. So, while I'm not an artist, I know the signs of artist's fear and the thoughts that go through the mind of an artist when thinking about selling their work:
Just the thought of selling their artwork makes most artists terrified. Like a possum in headlights they become suddenly paralysed - unable to decide on a price, unable to...