Maori art

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

skirt), Mrs Simi said. ‘‘The de­tail is just fan­tas­tic.’’ Many Maori did not get schooled in tra­di­tional arts and crafts by older fam­ily mem­bers any more, so the wananga filled a vi­tal role, Mrs Simi said.

‘‘ It’s like the reo. It went through a pe­riod where it was al­most non-ex­is­tent.’’

While the art­works had aes­thetic value and mean­ing, skills learned by stu­dents were also prac­ti­cal and could be used to sup­port fam­ily mem­bers, Mrs Simi said.

Stu­dents learnt the whole process of a craft, she said.

In weav­ing they would study the flax plant, har­vest the flax, treat it to make it pli­able, dye it and then weave.

Re­sult­ing bas­kets could then be used to col­lect veg­eta­bles or seafood, for ex­am­ple.

‘‘It’s art, but in re­al­ity it’s an ev­ery­day tool, it’s a hand­bag, it’s a hat.’’

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