The sounds of waiata, laughter and family stories echoed through the Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library as a collection of finely crafted works by distinguished Maori weaver Hemoata Ihaka were blessed and unveiled at the Epsom Campus on 2 May.
Hemoata Ihaka's collection of kete, alongside woven pieces in various states of development , are now housed in perspex boxes and permanently displayed on the upper floor of the library. The collection was originally brought together in 1985 and was used to demonstrate to school-age students the process of raranga weaving and provide samples of various articles that could be made with New Zealand's indigenous fibres.
"Given their unique history in education, these works are an important taonga for visitors, staff and students of the faculty," said Associate Professor Graeme Aitken, Dean of Education.
Over the years Hemoata passed on her skills in weaving flax kete, mats and hats and tried diligently to encourage others to maintain her personal and traditional concepts of meticulous perfection rather than produce substandard work in favour of speed and mass-production.
We are grateful to UniNews for supplying this article which is a reprint of:
Bellew, V. (2011). Woven works unveiled. UniNews 41(7), 2.