At present I am working on a project which involves documenting the weaving of the first 100 kete I have made. It’s a no-holds barred kind of project, so you will get to see every kete I have made since I began weaving – no hiding the ones I don’t like under the bed.
To accomplish this task I have been weaving, photographing and compiling stories that hopefully will blend together to tell a story all of its own. I am very excited that making my 100th kete is not too far away now . . . here’s a few images to whet your appetite . . .
The first is a kete whakairo, which is the general term to cover patterned kete. Its pattern starts with taki tahi (over one, under one) and then moves into torua (over two, under two). It has a shell toggle.
The second is a kete whiri – with whiri being plait which is how the kete is commenced. The flax is placed upside down when making this kete, meaning the softer, curved edge is on the inside.
The third is a kete whakapuareare, which is the name given to kete with a lacey appearance or incorporating “holes” in the weaving. Originally these kete were used when gathering shellfish because the design enabled them to be dipped in the sea to wash away sand.
And a few more . . .
These kete are created by using coloured and natural whenu together to produce patterns. The blue and natural kete is patikitiki pattern which is said to represent patiki or flounder. It is created by a special whakapapa (the way the whenu are laid out at the beginning). Both the orange/natural kete and the green/natural kete are made using a broken square pattern which is created by a diagonal line through each square where the colours are reversed.