Te Karanga o Te Rā

Te Karanga o Te Rā


Te Rā ko au, ko au Te Rā.

One cannot imagine the unmistakable mana that Te Rā emanates along with the absolute exquisiteness of her tinana and her phenomenal presence that takes your breath away. We are forever changed by Te Rā, he taonga tawhito, he taonga puiaki, he taonga whakahirahira.

Te Rā Ringa Raupā is a group of dedicated Northland weavers who took up the challenge to recreate Te Rā, firstly by Te Rā herself and reinforced by Te Wero o Te Rangihīroa.

This exhibition held in Te Taunga Community Hub, provides insight into Te Rā Ringa Raupā’s journey of retrieving ancient skills handed down by our tupuna and the creation of Hine Mārama and Māhere Tū Ki Te Rangi the younger siblings of Te Rā.

Accompanying the exhibition, Te : Navigating Home, Te Karanga o Te Rā showcases the journey undertaken by Te Rā Ringa Raupā.

I te Wairua o Te Rā

Mauri Ohaoha

Mauri Tū

Mauri Ora

Please note that while Te Karanga o Te Rā is open in Te Taunga Community Hub until Tue 30 Jul 2024, sibling sail Māhere Tū Ki Te Rangi is displayed in Te Marae Ātea Māori Court until Sun 26 May 2024.

Te Rā: Navigating Home

See the over 200 year old sibling sail of Hine Mārama and Māhere Tū Ki Te Rangi. 


Te Rā: Navigating Home

Image from Tā'ere Mā'ohi i Aotearoa, curated by the Mā’ohi Nui Community, 2022.


In Te Taunga Community Hub, we celebrate the diverse communities of Tāmaki Makaurau by inviting them into the space to create their own exhibit. Our visitors will experience a community's story not through the Museum’s interpretation, but through the eyes of the community itself.

Located just off the Grand Foyer, everything you find in the gallery has been chosen by the community to tell their story, from the treasures themselves, to the labels, the signage, and the lighting.

Te Rā Ringa Raupā:

Mentor: Dr Maureen Lander (Ngāpuhi, Te Roroa);

Current members: Mandy Sunlight (Tangata Tauiwi) , Ruth Port (Te Rarawa Kaiwhare, Te Aupōuri), Rouati Waata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Whātua, Te Aupōuri ), Tessa Harris (Tai ki Tāmaki, Te Waiohua, Tainui, Ngāpuhi), Puhirere Waata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahungunu)

Past members: Makareta Jahnke (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou), Kerrin Taylor, Maikara Ropata (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāpuhi)

Dr Maureen Lander MNZM

Ngāpuhi, Te Roroa

Maureen is an academic and artist whose work has contributed significantly to knowledge recovery of traditional Māori fibre arts and to the use and recognition of customary weaving materials and techniques in a contemporary art context.

+Maureen's bio continued

After graduating with a BA in Maori Studies in 1989 and MFA from Elam in 1993, Maureen spent many years researching and teaching Māori Material Culture at the University of Auckland, while working towards her DocFA (2002). During her sabbaticals she was able to travel internationally to exhibit her artwork and to study and photograph rare Māori tāonga in overseas museums, including Te Rā at the British Museum in 1998 and again in 2006.

Since her retirement from university teaching Maureen has enjoyed mentoring other artists and weavers in the wider community while continuing to make and exhibit her own creative work, mainly in the form of large fibre installations. She instigated initial research into Te Rā before recruiting some of the Pā te Aroha weavers (now Te Rā Ringa Raupā collective) in 2009 and mentoring them on their long journey to study and replicate Te Rā and disseminate the knowledge to others.

Recognition of Maureen’s work includes a ‘Ngā Tohu ā Tā Kingi Ihaka’ award in 2019, being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2020, winning the Walters Prize (with Mata Aho) in 2021, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland in 2022, and an Arts Laureate award from the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi later the same year.

Ruth Port

Te Rarawa Kaiwhare, Te Aupōuri

Raranga began for me many years ago when I attended a weaving wananga in Whaingaroa. My first kaiako was Erangi Brodie who really fostered and supported my jourey into the world of Raranga. Now I can’t imagine a life without harakeke.

+Ruth's bio continued

Ko Orowhana ko Whangatauatia oku maunga
Ko Rangiheke, ko Te Wairoa oku awa
Ko Karirikura toku moana
Ko Te-One-Roa-a-Tohe toku tai
Ko Mamari, ko Ngatokimatawhaorua, ko Tinana oku waka
Ko Te Aupōuri, ko Te Rarawa oku iwi
Ko Patu Pinaki, ko Ngāti Moroki, ko Ngāti Hine oku hapū
Ko Ruth Port toku ingoa

Nga mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa.

Weaving has taken me to many places throughout Aotearoa as well as the the UK running weaving wānanga including workshops at the British Museum which was a wonderful opportunity. This experience led to our rōpu ,Te Rā Ringa Raupā researching and recreating Te Rā, the only known Māori woven sail of its era, 250 to 300 years old.

Te Rōpu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa is the name of our national weavers’ group and six weavers throughout the country are nominated and voted on to the committee to work for the wellbeing of weaving in Aotearoa. I have been elected onto this committee for three terms of four years and feel priviledged to help shape the future of Raranga/Whatu for our weavers

I currently reside in Ahipara where I have ancestral links and where there are many gifted weavers.

My passion for the art of weaving is ongoing. This is both as an individual on a personal journey of exploration within a time honoured art form and as a skilful and successful tutor inspiring and inviting others to become part of a beautiful whaariki/mat. This whaariki has no limits and allows each weaver's unique essence to be expressed and valued as an integral part of the whole. Raranga for me is a fulfilling and exciting way of life.


Mandy Sunlight

Tangata Tauiwi

I live in Ōmanaia, Hokianga. I have a vivid memory as a nine year old of watching a kuia weave. It was the smell of her boiled kōrari that led to my lifelong love of weaving. I was 19 when I had my first lesson, with master weaver Emily Schuster, and have been weaving ever since.

+Mandy's bio continued

I have maintained a love of teaching and passing on my skills with wananga throughout Te Tai Tokerau, and in particular to my own tamariki, mokopuna and whānau.

I continue this work alongside the care, maintenance and expansion of our pā korari. This practice ensures the availability of high quality and quantity of kōrari to kairāranga.

I have learnt to extract the flax fibre muka and this has led to exploration with traditional dyeing processes using tree bark, making traditional cloaks and developing collaborative pieces with artists working in other mediums. I love the simplicity and complexity of working with kōrari. It’s so versatile!  I have also engaged with harvesting many other traditional fibres and natural materials and the knowledge  associated with these practices.

Maureen Lander and Toi Te Rito Maihi have mentored me in my explorations, and I also mentor as has been role modeled to me.

I am a self-employed fibre artist and working from home. Recreating Te Rā as a member of Te Rā Ringa Raupā is the culmination of my life's skills and continues into the future.

Rouati Waata

Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Whātua, Te Aupōuri

Ko Te Hikutu raua ko Patu Koraha ngā hapū.
Ko Ngāpuhi raua ko Ngāti Kahu ngā iwi.

+Rouati's bio continued

Rouati is the daughter of Charlie Waata and Mandy Sunlight, who is also an established weaver. Rouati has faced many challenges juggling whānau life along with her mahi raranga but she says she’s had a good support network backing her to keep pursuing her creative life. Rouati’s love for raranga began in her home. She grew up with the smell of harakeke and fell asleep to her mother weaving at night.

As a young girl, Rouati would hassle her mum to teach her how to weave and she finally gave in when Rouati was around eight years old. Her grandfather Albert had set up the first pā kōrari in Whirinaki when she was still a young kōhine, and anybody that came to harvest from there had to seek her permission. Her pāpā indulged her so that the pā became her domain. He remained the kaitiaki of that pā kōrari right up until his passing. Rouati describes her pāpā as the main instigator of her weaving journey and a huge pou for her.

Puhirere I Te Ata Rangi Waata

Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahungunu

Puhirere begins her creative debut with an ode to her name, paying homage to the beauty and form that comes from combining the mauri of muka and huruhuru manu.

+Puhirere's bio continued

Puhirere has grown up surrounded by ringatoi within her whanau.  She has had many introductions to mahi raranga alongside her sister Rouati and mentor Mandy Sunlight from a very young age. It has been a gradual progression and since moving home to Hokianga, Puhirere has stepped into her own and become a raranga tauira in earnest, and member of Te Rā Ringa Raupā.

Tessa Harris

Tai ki Tāmaki, Te Waiohua, Tainui, Ngāpuhi

Tessa Harris is a weaver, carver and multi-disciplinary artist working with various mediums including stone, glass, wood and natural fibres.

+Tessa's bio continued

Tessa holds a Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts (whakairo) from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and has been weaving for over 20 years. Tessa has been working as a full time artist for almost 10 years. Her work is seen in public spaces around Tāmaki Makaurau, in galleries and exhibitions throughout Aotearoa.

Tessa was invited to join Te Rā Ringa Raupā in December 21 and has been inspired by the team ever since.

Previous Te Taunga Community Hub exhibits

Previous Te Taunga Community Hub exhibits

Take a virtual tour of a previous Te Taunga Community Hub exhibit and view a community's story through the eyes of the community itself.

Sudanese Women Traditional Dress (White - Everyday, Red- Wedding Costume) Marwa (Travelling Sudania)