Reference work for distinctive Māori weaving returns
‘Tāniko work has its own beauty when woven with pride and exhibiting masterly control of the artform. It is as relevant now as it was when this book was first published.’
– Linda Tuhiwai Smith, from the book’s preface
In print in various forms since 1952, Sir Hirini Mead’s standard guide to tāniko weaving has returned in a fully redesigned new edition.
Tāniko weaving is one of the supreme expressions of Māori art. Weaving and dyeing the fibres of native flax creates elaborate patterns that are used to adorn clothing, with distinctive styles that have evolved in different parts of the country over centuries of creativity.
Te Whatu Tāniko presents the history and social context for weaving, as well as clear, practical guidelines for making tāniko. The book’s many clear and concise graphs and drawings can guide beginners or practising weavers to create a range of beautiful patterns.
The latest edition of the book contains a new preface by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, daughter of the author. Sir Hirini sees this as signalling of passing the mantle of this artform, in decline when he first wrote the book, back to the female practitioners who are helping it to thrive today.
Sir Hirini Moko Mead (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tūhourangi) is a pre-eminent Māori writer, commentator and scholar. In the course of a distinguished academic career he authored numerous books on Māori art (including Te Toi Whakairo: The Art of Maori Carving, with Oratia Books) and developed the first Department of Māori Studies in the country at Victoria University. He was knighted in 2009 for services to Māori and education. He lives in Wellington.