Weav­ing a con­nec­tion

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - JOANNA GRIF­FITHS

More South­landers want to con­nect and learn about Maori cul­ture ac­cord­ing to Win­nie Solomon.

The Te Wa¯nanga o Aotearoa tu­tor (ka­iako) said in par­tic­u­lar, peo­ple were in­ter­ested in learn­ing the lan­guage and crafts like weav­ing.

Solomon had been run­ning a be­gin­ners weav­ing course at the South­ern In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy cam­pus for seven years.

In that time she had seen hun­dreds of South­landers learn the craft.

Learn­ing tra­di­tional meth­ods of weav­ing was im­por­tant, not just be­cause it kept the Maori her­itage alive.

It was also a form of re­lax­ation, she said.

‘‘When you fin­ish weav­ing some­thing you feel a sense of achieve­ment.

‘‘Weav­ing is the cherry on top of the ic­ing for Maori cul­ture.

‘‘It is a great way to con­nect to the cul­ture.’’

Stu­dent (tauira) Catherine New­ton said she had al­ways been drawn to the Maori cul­ture but never made the ef­fort to get in­volved.

Now a grand­mother to four young­sters with Maori her­itage, she thought it was a per­fect time to learn.

‘‘I wanted to be able to share this with my grand­chil­dren.’’

New Zealand had a rich and vi­brant cul­ture and it was im­por­tant to rel­ish it, New­ton said.

New­ton and her fel­low stu­dents’ weav­ing work will be on show at the Kawai Rau­papa (raranga) ex­hi­bi­tion at South­ern In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy in the Maori Stud­ies build­ing off Forth St on Novem­ber 27 from 10am to 3pm.

En­rol­ments for next year’s course will be avail­able on the day.

Watch video on­line.

Stu­dent Catherine New­ton shows off her weav­ing skills.

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