Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, kupu of the day: whatu

Tēnā koutou katoa! It’s day two (rua) of our series of maker-related kupu for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week, and nōnāianei (today) we’re looking at…


1. (verb) (-a) to weave (garments, baskets, etc.), knit.
Example: Whatua mai te aho kia kāwitiwiti, kia kātoatoa mō te oti wawe, e hine! For an earlier completion, weave the cross threads so that they taper and contract, girl! (Definition courtesy of Te Aka Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary.)

Traditionally the art of weaving – raranga – focuses on clothing such as korowai (cloaks) and practical objects like kete (baskets) and whāriki (mats). The most widely used weaving material in traditional weaving was (and still is) harakeke, New Zealand flax. The verb whatu can also refer to knitting and finger weaving.

We have such a lovely array of woven items here on Felt that it was difficult to pick just a few! Here are some pieces from our talented weavers, as well as a sampling of other items inspired by raranga.


Keep checking in this week for more handy maker-related kupu and beautiful handmade taonga. Ka kite anō!


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply