Weaving keeps Te Hori young at heart

By Greg Taipari

Te Hori Kaingakau is an addict and, if she doesn't get her fix at least once a day, she can become ugly - so she says.

Mrs Kaingakau's drug of choice is raranga (weaving) and she got a really good fix during Te Matatini 2013 running a store at the kapa haka festival venue.

The Ngati Porou's shop has been a regular and popular fixture at Te Matatini during the past six years.

In fact it was quite a mission for The Daily Post to talk to Mrs Kaingakau as customers continually came in to try on and buy some of her creations from harakeke hats to kete (weaved basket).

Being able to weave has become more than a passion for Mrs Kaingakau. "It's my drug. If I don't have it once a day, I'm not nice."

The Omaio resident has been weaving for more than 30 years and it has become a source of income for the sprightly 65-year-old.

"To be honest back in Te Whanau a Apanui, we don't have too much mahi. So they were running courses way back then and it was either take on this course or lose my dole."

Although Mrs Kaingakau was run off her feet during the four-day festival but had help from her son, John Tarewa, who travelled down from Auckland, she still had time to watch her favourite kapa haka group, Te Whanau a Apanui.

"This is why I bring my children along so they allow me to go away and watch them. They were beautiful this year."

Mrs Kaingakau's weaving is not only popular among festival goers as her product is now in several shops around the country.

"We have a little shop in Opotiki called Tangata Whenua and I supply them. There is another shop in Matamata called Kirunga te Pai and I supply to Pataka Museum in Porirua. So I'm out there."

Despite the fact Mrs Kaingakau is at retirement age, she says she is too busy to think about taking it easy.

And her son, John, says weaving has kept his mother young at heart and he enjoys watching her "do her thing".


- Rotorua Daily Post

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