Raranga is a traditional art form that has been practised in many parts of the world, over many centuries, and is still practiced today. The indigenous Pacific Islanders – the ancestors of Maori people, brought this technique to Aotearoa, New Zealand. The Pacific Islanders often used Pandamus. Maori weavers use Harakeke, which is native to Aotearoa, and very abundant.
The process, after harvesting the leaf stalk from the plant, involves sizing and stripping the leaves, softening the whenu (blades) and then boiling in water. Color can then be introduced, (by boiling) and both traditional and contemporary dyes are used. The weaving technique is done with just the fingers, no loom.
Maori weaving is full of symbolism and hidden meaning.
I strive to embrace the Tikanga (correct) customary practices of Raranga, while continuing to evolve my own vision of this beautiful art form.
The Kete itself has power as a symbol for a container of knowledge and wisdom.