Weavers National Hui 2019

30 October 2019

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The 2019 Weavers National Hui, held over four days at Labour weekend at Ngā Hau e Whā National marae in Ōtautahi/Christchurch was a terrific success in my view. Thanks go to the organising group including Ranui Ngarimu and Paula Rigby and the many obliging volunteers, who put together a weekend of weaving, knowledge sharing, forums and visits to sites of interest. The delicious food served up by Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka completed the enjoyable experience.

One of the highlights was the presentation of two groups studying Te Rā: The Māori sail, which is the only known Māori sail left in existence and is held by the British Museum. One group is studying the sail from a practical weaver’s approach, working out the weaving techniques used to weave Te Rā. With this knowledge they hope to recreate a traditional sail. At the hui, members of the group were weaving samples using very fine weaving strips. The techniques include open-weave sections that allow the wind through the sails. Follow their progress on Facebook. The other group, looking from a scientific perspective, used a polarised light microscope to compare tiny specimens taken from Te Rā to a set of identified reference materials. They confirmed that the material that Te Rā is made from is actually harakeke, Phormium tenax, that is, New Zealand Flax. Follow their progress here.

A large part of the hui was spent sharing basic and advanced weaving ideas and techniques. For example, a kuia showed Chiu, pictured above, how to weave a sun-visor hat, potae, and I showed a weaver from Tāmaki-makau-rau/Auckland how to make a neat even finish on the top edge of her first waikawa.

Several people commented on the koru pendant I designed a few years ago and was wearing, so I showed them how it’s made. One kuia was interested to weave this pendant as she was weaving items for tourists and thought the pendant was small and light and is easy to carry in luggage. If you’d like to make one yourself, check out my blog post “Weaving Jewellery” where you’ll find instructions for that pendant and other pendants made using the curved four plait.

This year, the exhibition at National Hui celebrated the weaver and kete — a kete made by the attendee, or one brought, gifted or inherited. The stunning display of kete in this exhibition showcased the wide variety of designs, patterns and weaving techniques that encompass the weaving of the past and present. I don’t have permission to use images of the ketes in the exhibition, apart from this one which is the first kete whakairo, or patterned kete, I wove. The pattern is Koeaea and represents whitebait swimming.

The National Weavers Hui is held every two years and it’s well worth going to. The next one in 2021 will be held in Otaki and I look forward to meeting up with old and new weaving friends there.

19 Responses to “Weavers National Hui 2019”

  1. Ruth Port Says:

    Kia ora Ali
    What a wonderful reflection of the National Weavers Hui. Ka mau te wehi e hoa!!

  2. Ali Says:

    Kia ora Ruth

  3. Prue Smart Says:

    How wonderful to have been able to spend a whole weekend at a raranga hui. I am so pleased to see that the next one in 2021 is at Otaki, only a few kilometres from where I live - I will definitely be a participant. Can’t wait, something very exciting to look forward to.

  4. Ali Says:

    Yes it’s great to spend time with other weavers and see all the different creative mahi that’s going on.

  5. Fiona Wallen Says:

    Just leaving a note to say i recieved my book Weaving baskets” today very quickly after ordering it. Thankyou. I love the detailed pictures and step by step instrucitons thankyou. I hope my finishing plait “tapiki”improves now i have decent instructions. Ngaa mihi Fiona

  6. Ali Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to let me know what you like about the book Fiona. Happy weaving your tapiki.

  7. Linda Galbraith Says:

    I was having trouble borrowing your books from the local library - they were always out or on hold - I even had my mum searching her local libraries. As I refer to them every now and then I decided to buy all 3 so they’re always on hand. Very clear, easy to follow instructions. And it’s always good to support a fellow kiwi :)

  8. Ali Says:

    Thanks Linda. I even use them for reference myself now and then when I’m weaving something I haven’t woven for a while! :-)

  9. Pauline McAlpine Says:

    Hi Ali, received your book on “Weaving a Large Container” and today I wove the first basket in your book. It has turned out well, just need to refine the base, will do another one tomorrow. Especially like the finish at the top, so neat and tidy. Pauline

  10. Paula Alquiza Says:

    I just received my books and I am very happy with them. The wonderful photo details and the explanations that go with them are easy to follow. They are such beautiful books. Mahalo nui loa for all the love and care you put into them and for all the help and information you put in your blog posts! Aloha❤️

  11. Helen Win Says:

    Your book is and will remain a beautiful taonga to me and who I pass it on to.
    Thank you thank you Thank you Ali for sharing your knowledge
    I am thrilled with your book, it is clever to use the colours to show the techniques. I highly recommend it to all who want to or love to weave

    He maha nga manaaki

  12. Ali Says:

    Thank you Helen. Happy weaving!

  13. Ann Says:

    Hi there Ali,
    My parents-in-law gifted me your set of 3 books for my 50th birthday after asking my 12yr old what she thought I’d like - she had seen me get them out of the local library often over the previous year and told them I needed my own copies!
    I must say - these books have been a real blessing over the past lockdown period when I wasn’t able to access my weaving class and needed some guidance and revision of techniques at home - many thanks for the hard work you’ve put into these.

  14. Sam R Says:

    Kia ora Ali, books received today.
    What a wonderful treasure trove of info! I’ve been meaning to order these for some time now, so pleased I treated myself to all three. Love the step by step pics and detailed instructions. Now to get my hands on some flax and get started… :)
    ngā mihi nui!

  15. Ali Says:

    Thanks Sam, glad you treated yourself. Enjoy your weaving! :-)

  16. Kere Says:

    WOW! These books talk my language. I don’t read well so these are ideal for me, full of beautifully illustrated pictures with colour combos. Thank you Ali. If you weave, this set is a must for your library. Nga mihiui

  17. Ali Says:

    Thanks Kere! I’m glad you’re finding the books so easy to use. Happy weaving. :-)

  18. Carolyn Martin Says:

    Kia Ora,

    I would very much like to become a registered member of your weaving group so that I can possibly attend the Weaving Hui in Otaki during October.

    Could you give me the details to enable me to join please.?

    Nga Mihi

  19. Ali Says:

    Kia ora Carolyn, the organisation is Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa Māori Weavers New Zealand. You can get information about it, including how to join, here.