Creating a traditional Maori cloak is already a feat in itself.

But a Kiwi living in London has managed to take it one step further - by undertaking the mammoth task with the help of her mother, in New Zealand, who took her through the process via Facebook and Skype.

Te Ataraiti Waretini, 30, was determined to create something special for a friend in London and set her sights on creating a kind of korowai - a pake, or rain cape - for friend Joylene Fenikowski.

"When I asked my mum to teach me and sent her a photo of what I initially wanted to make, I could feel her rolling her eyes and sighing,'' she laughed.

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"She said: 'It's a lot of work'. But I was determined that I would be able to do it.''

Back home, her mother Maria Waretini , who is a former weaver at the then Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, began painstakingly drawing and writing out instructions of the different processes and materials needed to create the cape.

She also sent various videos of the different kinds of weaving techniques via Skype or Facebook Messenger.

"Some of the instructions told me the proper clothes to wear when I was picking the flax, what kind of day, what part of the flax to pick, how to carry them, how to weave and when to weave.

"One of the instructions that I took very seriously was the karakia, or prayer. She said whenever you touch anything to do with weaving, make sure you do a karakia at the beginning and at the end.

"It also helped me to know that my ancestors were with me while I was weaving it, even sitting in my room in London.''

Te Ataraiti Waretini, a Kiwi living in London, created a traditional Maori cape with help from mum Maria over Facebook Messenger. Photo / Supplied
Te Ataraiti Waretini, a Kiwi living in London, created a traditional Maori cape with help from mum Maria over Facebook Messenger. Photo / Supplied
Te Ataraiti Waretini, a Kiwi living in London, created a traditional Maori cape with help from mum Maria over Facebook Messenger. Photo / Supplied
Te Ataraiti Waretini, a Kiwi living in London, created a traditional Maori cape with help from mum Maria over Facebook Messenger. Photo / Supplied

A friend, also a Kiwi, happened to have the main ingredient needed for the cape in his backyard - a large flax bush.

Over the next few weeks, Waretini stripped the flax to extract the muka, or fibres, and ended up with 1000 strips.

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The flax then had to be boiled and later dried - a process that took several weeks - before weaving could begin.

"There aren't many big pots here so I had to use an oven tray on the element to boil them and because we're in a flat, my poor flatmates had to endure the smell.

"Mum said I couldn't get the flax wet again after that. She said to put it out in the shed, but of course this is London and I don't have a shed or a porch...so I had to dry all the flax by my window."

The entire process took four months.

"When I finished making the pake I cried. I rung my mum at 2am her time, crying, and said: 'I've finished it, mum'. She said: 'Well done, I'm so proud of you, daughter'!''

Waretini, whose grandmothers, great-grandmothers and great-grandmothers were all kairaranga, or weavers, said she was thankful to modern technology for helping her continuing the tradition.

"I'm super grateful to my mum and all my ancestors for their skills - and technology, so that we're able to carry on these traditional practices today.''

Te Ataraiti Waretini (left) created the pake, named Maru, for friend Joylene Fenikowski. Photo / Supplied
Te Ataraiti Waretini (left) created the pake, named Maru, for friend Joylene Fenikowski. Photo / Supplied

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Te Ataraiti Waretini, a Kiwi living in London, created a traditional Maori cape with help from mum Maria over Facebook Messenger. Photo / Supplied
Te Ataraiti Waretini, a Kiwi living in London, created a traditional Maori cape with help from mum Maria over Facebook Messenger. Photo / Supplied