Exhibition celebrates New Zealand's Maaori weavers
Major Exhibition celebrates New Zealand's finest traditional Maaori weavers
24 JUNE 2014
An extraordinary collection of traditional Maaori kaakahu (cloaks) and weaving from five generations of one family opens on 29 June as a major exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.
E Nga Uri Whakatupu - Weaving Legacies: Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa acknowledges and celebrates the life achievements of Dame Rangimarie Hetet (1892 – 1995) and her daughter, Diggeress Te Kanawa (1920 -2009). Their generosity of spirit and passion for the revival of Maaori women’s arts gave new life to traditional Maaori weaving in Aotearoa.
Museum director Cherie Meecham says this exhibition is
significant in its celebration of Maaori women’s
“Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa are acknowledged as New Zealand’s finest traditional Maaori weavers of the modern era.
“Many of the cloaks and weavings in the Hetet/Te Kanawa collection have been exhibited in New Zealand and overseas, but this is the very first time the entire collection of more than 75 items can be experienced in one place.”
collection will be presented in two parts for the course of
The exhibition’s title and theme is inspired from the words of a waiata composed by Dame Rangimarie Hetet; a call for young Maaori to uphold and practice traditional knowledge to ensure its future.
Dan Te Kanawa says the whaanau are proud of the legacy left by Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa, and their lifelong commitment to foster the skills and knowledge of traditional Maaori weaving by working with others who shared their passion.
“My mother and grandmother never tired in
their creative pursuits; trying new ideas, techniques and
innovations but always adhering to the use of traditional
materials and processes. They delighted in teaching those
who shared their love of weaving, working directly with
individuals and groups or through the organisations they
“E Nga Uri Whakatupu will add another strand to the life achievements of Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa.”
E Nga Uri Whakatupu also acknowledges other Maaori weavers, such as Emily Schuster and the role of the Maori Women’s Welfare League (Te Ropu Wahine Maori Toko i te Ora), and Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa (National Maori Weavers’ Collective).
Hetet and her daughter Diggeress Te Kanawa were founding
members of these organisations which represented their
passion for transferring essential weaving knowledge from
one generation to the next, and the importance of developing
the spiritual, social and economic wellbeing of Maaori
As exhibition partners, Maori Women’s Welfare League members will be involved in the coming months co-hosting events and workshops and as gallery hosts.