Last weekend we journeyed to South Taranaki for a weekend of creativity with some of the Taranaki wahine (women) artists. It was really fantastic to spend time together making, sharing rich conversation, stories and laughter. The other wonderful aspect of the weekend was the delicious kai (food) that was shared. If I have learnt anything over the past six years of learning and connection with Māori people and culture, it is the importance of food as part of building family and community. Also, good food and good conversation really does help to get the creativity going.

Maata Wharehoka, Moi, Kim Kahu, Bonita Bigham, Gabrielle Belz, Maia, Bonita’s Mum, Aunty Josie 

Maata was completely focused on getting the kete (baskets) woven and I was astonished at how quickly the baskets and rope was made. For my small part I helped to strip the harakeke so the top of the baskets could be tied off.

We were hosted by the wonderful BB and her husband Kevin at their gorgeous whare (house) near Hawera. BB recently finished her Masters at Massey University and was working on a piece that will have a light feature. I love the beautiful variation of the cuts.

Kim Kahu, a highly skilled weaver is also part of the wahine group. Kim also works a lot with dyes to bring amazing colour to the harakeke. Here are some images of Kim’s beautiful weaving – I loved the colours and the detail in the weave.

It was a real honour to be able to spend time with these amazing women and I hope all goes well for their exhibition and future creative plans 🙂

On the way home we were also given a special treat with Taranaki showing his face for the first time in four days – and how beautiful he is with his winter finery ❤

Taranaki in all his glory


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