News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Cassandra Weaves Biggest-Ever Batch of Flax Bassinets

Media Release

October 30, 2017

Cassandra Weaves Biggest-Ever Batch of Flax Bassinets

An experienced weaver of traditional Māori newborn bassinets has outdone herself and woven what may be the biggest batch yet.

Cassandra Moar weaves wahakura waikawa, a type of traditional Māori cot of a particular depth and rigidity which is clinically-approved and enables safe co-sleeping for mums with newborn babies. On Wednesday Cassandra received twice as much harakeke (flax) as she had been expecting, so she threw up her hands and decided she may as well weave 19 baskets in one day - which she is fairly certain is a personal record.

"Me and my friend picked ten bags of flax on Wednesday, but when we got home, friends of mine had brought a load of flax over from Dargaville. I had two lots and I had to do something with it."

The DHB's involvement with Cassandra goes back a few years. It was realised families needed options if they were planning to co-sleep with their baby to make the practice safer. This led to the development of a safe sleep space that can be positioned on the bed next to the sleeping parent. The two types of space promoted in Northland are the Pepi-Pod and the wahakura waikawa, each of which are hygienic, safe and if well looked after can be passed onto whānau and reused for years. Each are several inches deep and have hard corners to prevent the cot from being crushed by mum's body. Cassandra has always woven, but worked out the wahakura waikawa woven structure after some sessions at a marae in Heretaunga, Hawke's Bay, with Hastings GP and Māori safe sleep/SUDI researcher Dr David Tipene-Leach. Wahakura is the name of the weaving style/structure, and waikawa is a type of mat made of moss Cassandra said was traditionally used in the cribs - although today a baby-sized mattress fits in each crib perfectly, as pictured.

Cassandra's skills and Māori cultural expertise have made her highly in-demand these days and Cassandra supplies wahakura waikawa nationwide.

She estimates she was woven well over 1000 in total. Locally they are in high demand, and the 20 fresh wahakura being handed to Te Puawai Ora will be quickly matched with families.

"I'm a fast weaver, I've been weaving since I was little. If you've got the right elements in line, if you say the right karakia for the flax and if the weather's right, you can weave them pretty quickly... plus I'm a virgo! We're hard-working."

Anyone with questions about safe co-sleeping with baby should contact Te Puawai Ora clinic on 09 430 2324.

Cassandra is happy to be reached on 022 6139 159 and is always keen on weavers to help her, as well as donations of flax.


-Ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland