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Kete whakairo (patterned bag) named 'Tatai Whetu ki te Rangi' , Sonia Snowden, 2011, Te Papa

This kete whakairo (patterned bag) was created by master weaver Sonia Snowden who wove this bag after looking out at the Tararua Ranges on a morning when Matariki was visible.

Named Tatai Whetu ki te Ran this kete whakairo was woven to acknowledge the Māori New Year and speaks to the early reclamation of knowledge surrounding Matariki by Māori. Tatai Whetu ki te Rangi is woven from black dyed and natural white boiled kiekie (Freycinetia Banksii) using a traditional rāranga technique. Natural white muka (New Zealand flax fibre) has been braided and attached to form the handles of this kete whakairo. 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 (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Wai), 2021