A karakia is not a prayer but liturgical chants. And before we harvest from any pā kōrāri we say a karakia out of respect and tradition. I have the karakia i was taught in polytec by my kaiako (teacher) Te Hemoata Henare..
O Te Rangi
O Te Whenua
O Nga Tupuna
Homei Hei Oranga
Kei Tenei Mahi
Harvesting te Kōrāri
In the diagram above you will see how we percieve te pā kōrāri, as a family starting with the centre whenu the baby, protected by the parents on bith sides, then protecting the parents and baby are the grand parents, the next protecting the grandparents are te tupuna (ancestors)
When harvesting we leave the awhi rito (three centre whenu) the baby and the parents ensuring a continuim of growth from this plant taking the whenua from below the awhi rito (centre three whenu) and down.
Preparing te kōrāri for Paro, Kete waikawa and putiputi
* i wear fingerless gloves when harvesting
* Work your way into te pā kōrāri from the outside, cleaning the plant as you go i.e collecting the old n dying whenu.
* Make sure your blades got enough length to cut through te kōrāri.
Tools, a little idea on a starter tool kit to keep on hand and easily portable for those road trips. There’s always a need to harvest when out and about and you spot a nice specimen of kōrāri. (Remember to gain consent before harvesting if not your pā kōrāri).
* something to keep your tools in e.g small carry bag, small fishing tackle box, there’s really no limit as long as your able to keep your tools together and can transport them around.
* craft knife
* old butter knife (prefferably with a long handle for comfort.
Basic beginners weaving tools
Fot the mahi we’re doing in this site no other tools are required.
Do’s and Don’ts
*No harvesting during sacred womens time of the month, this is a good time for a break from many normal duties or responsibilities in your daily life.
*no harvesting during the rain.
*No eating or drinking around te kōrāri
To help those not familiar with our Native language i have compiled all the Te Reo (Language of tangata whenua) on this page and their meanings. You will notice i’ve used several of them repetatively and they do become familiar.
Kupu hau (new words)
*Aotearoa – land of the long white cloud
*harakeke – flax
*karakia – liturgical chants
*kōrāri – flax
*kupu – word
*mahi – work/weaving
*Niu Tirini – Aotearoa/New Zealand
*Pā – village/home
*Paro – plate/bowl
*Rāranga – weave/weaving
*Tangata – people
*Whenu – blade
*Whenua – land
Hine-Rehia….The discovery of weaving
The Hauraki peoples believed that the techniques of weaving and plaiting were aquired from a fairy [patupaiarehe] woman, Hine-rehia, who married a human man named Karanga-roa. This man was a rangatira of the Maruiwi people who lived on Motuihe Island in Tikapa (the Hauraki Gulf)
Hine-rehia was expert in preparing flax fibre and dyeing it, weaving garments and plaiting baskets and mats, but she worked only at night and on foggy days. At dawn she put away her unfinished work, as the sun would otherwise undo her work and make her lose her skills.
The other women, anxious to acquire Hine-rehia’s knowledge, asked a tohunga to make her keep on working after the sun rose. He did so, and Hine-rehia worked on unwittingly while the women, concealed nearby, learnt her secrets. At last she realised that she had been decieved. She sang a farewell to her husband and children, then a cloud came down and bore her off to her home on the Moehau Range