An extraordinary and beautiful collection of traditional Māori kākahu and weaving from five generations of one family is now a major exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.
E Nga Uri Whakatapu: Weaving Legacies of Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa is a tribute to the life achievements of Dame Rangimarie Hetet (1892 – 1995) and her daughter Diggeress Te Kanawa (1920 -2009) (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Kinohaku), tohunga of mahi raranga whatu (traditional Maori weaving experts).
These remarkable women are acknowledged as New Zealand’s finest traditional Māori weavers. Their generosity of spirit and passion for the revival of Māori women’s arts gave new life to traditional Māori weaving in Aotearoa. The Hetet and Te Kanawa collection comprises more than 75 individual pieces and this is the first time the collection can be seen in one exhibition.
E Nga Uri Whakatupu also acknowledges other Māori weavers, such as Emily Schuster and the role of the Māori Women’s Welfare League and Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa (National Māori Weavers Collective).
The exhibition runs at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato until 28 July 2015.
Image: Detail, Kahu Kaka, Kahu Kura, (cloak), Diggeress Rangituatahi Te Kanawa, Hetet/Te Kanawa Collection, Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.