Keeping weaving alive
I’ve recently been thinking a lot about how I can make a difference in keeping the weaving art alive. It seems to have skipped a generation because it’s not a necessity of life anymore. Although we no longer have to weave our own baskets, clothes or equipment due to mass production, recently there has been a huge movement towards shopping sustainably and being mindful of a company’s ethical grade. This often means that small businesses have more support from the local community. Kapai everyone!
So, I was over the moon when I was approached by Whitecliffe, The Collage of Arts and Design. Next year I will be holding weaving classes for students to come and learn about the design process, weaving techniques, and about the form of weaving itself. Students will leave with a wall hanging and a loom so they can carry on their newly found knowledge and continue on their own weaving journey.
One thing I will ask of my students is that they pass on the knowledge they learn to at least one person. This way we can begin to break the cycle of this dying art and remind the world of the beauty we can create with our hands.
This is a whakatauki (Māori proverb) I wanted to share. It highlights how Māori refer to harakeke as a whanau or a family. The outer leaves are the tupuna (ancestors); the inner leaves are the matua (parents); the very inner leaf is the rito or pepe (baby). Only the outer leaves are cut as the inner leaves are left to protect the very inner leaf.
"Hutia te rito o te harakeke, Kei hea te kōmako e kō? Kī mai ki ahau; He aha te mea nui o te Ao? Māku e kī atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata."
If the heart of harakeke was removed, where will the bellbird sing? If I was asked, what was the most important thing in the world; I would be compelled to reply, It is people, it is people, it is people!