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Kete whakairo (patterned bag) named 'Tatai Whetu ki te Rangi'

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

This kete whakairo (patterned bag) named Tatai Whetu ki te Rangi was woven in 2011 by master weaver Sonia Snowden (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Wai). Sonia remembers being inspired to weave this kete whakairo while looking out at the Tararua Ranges in the morning while Matariki was visible. This kete whakairo was woven to acknowledge the Māori New Year andspeaks to the early reclamation of knowledge surrounding Matariki by Māori ConstructionTatai Whetu ki te Rangi is woven from black dyed and natural white boiled kiekie (Freycinetia Banksii) using traditional rāranga technique. Natural white muka (New Zealand flax fibre) has been braided and attached to form the handles of this kete whakairo. Design While many weavers today credit the pattern woven in this kete whakairo as Sonia Snowden’s Matariki pattern, Sonia herself states that this pattern was directly inspired by woven works she seen while visiting the islands of Vanuatu on holiday. "People call it my ‘Matariki’ pattern but it is not my pattern. I visited a weaving studio while I was in Vanuatu, and there around all these women were these beautiful star patterns. I asked them if it would be ok if I learned this from them would it be ok to weave into my own kete to which they agreed. For them it represented the night sky, but for me and our reclaiming of our new year it was Matariki". Sonia Snowden, 2021

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  • Title

    Kete whakairo (patterned bag) named 'Tatai Whetu ki te Rangi'

  • Maker

    Sonia Snowden

  • Date made


  • Subject

    kiekie (fibre), muka (fibre), dye, kete, raranga, Weaving, braiding, Ōtaki, North Island, New Zealand, Freycinetia banksii A.Cunn., Te Huringa III: 1950 - present, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi

  • Rights

    All Rights Reserved

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  • Location

    Cable Street, Wellington

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

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  • Text adapted with permission from Te Papa and Digital NZ

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