Te Whare Pora
Ko te Hineteiwaiwa te tupuna wahine nāna ngā mahi katoa e pā ana ki te whare pora, te rāranga me to whatu.
Hineteiwaiwa was the female ancestor from whom all the arts of the house of weaving originated, including plaiting and weaving.
The above phrase was accessed from one of the information documents sent to us before we would gather. Having this information along with a two day agenda was so helpful for all of us, as this would help us gather our own thoughts and knowledge we could share before we met.
Under the guidance of the Te Awe team, we were taken through the back of house storage spaces, and each time we came back for each hui, this was an opportunity for us to have our own discussions and catch ups. A lot of sharing, coming from different perspectives, but also aspiring to further research projects that could develop and formulate even stronger relationships with whānau, hapu and iwi, not to mention practitioners and knowledge holders.
Matekino Lawless would discuss with us how she felt as a child learning the art of weaving and watching her tupuna. Observing and applying her skills, but most importantly understanding the respect for the materials used.
We would compare and contrast different terminology, techniques and stories of our kairaranga who have left us with knowledge and skills, we are fortunate enough to remember and decipher when working with the textiles tāonga.
What became more evident, as we had the privilege to view such exquisite pieces of work, was the intensity of refined weaving techniques.
Between the Te Awe team and our selves, the conversations and dialogue of discovery became ephemeral moments of history, locked and bound in the strands of these tāonga.
Image credit: L to R: Christina Wirihana, Rangi Te Kanawa, Awhina Tamarapa and Chanel Clarke (Curator Maori) checking the poka (shaping) of a cloak