Spiritual side to weaving is uplifting

By Sonya Bateson

Beautifully woven and dyed kete, pake, kupenga and whariki were on display at Te Wananga o Aotearoa last week.

The pieces are the best of the year's work by level 4, 5 and 6 raranga (weaving) students.

Level 4 student Katarina Gray said she had taken the course for the clothing aspect but the classes had opened her horizons and she was going to do the next two years.

She has woven kete (baskets), pake (cloaks) and kupenga (fishing nets), several coloured with teri dye. "I have woven a pake with peacock feathers for my son, he runs around like a peacock so I had those feathers in it."

Fellow level 4 student Gina Rueben-Potts said she was interested in the traditional aspects of weaving. "It's in my family, I saw them doing it and wanted to know how it was done. The course has that whanau feel to it and I'm going to keep going until level 6 if I can. It's sort of spiritual, wairua - it's really good for the soul."

Kaiako (tutor) Meleta Bennett said the students learned the basics by doing putiputi flowers, kono (small basket) before moving on to kete. They then learned other skills such as dyeing the harakeke (flax).

She said it was rewarding watching those who started this year knowing nothing about weaving and where they were today.

The new intake for the raranga courses has begun, with classes starting in March. Anyone interested in enrolling can visit Te Wananga o Aotearoa on Dinsdale St.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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