Ngā Here o Te Ao

The kahu huruhuru, Ngā Here o Te Ao, was inspired by the concept of ‘weaving the world’ and begun at the exhibition ‘Ngā Here o Te Ao’ at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a nine-day presentation of contemporary kakahu as part of the 2000 International Festival of the Arts, Wellington.

For this presentation twelve senior weavers brought kakahu to Te Hono ki Aotearoa marae at Te Papa Tongarewa. They were supported by Whakatane group, Ngā Waka Toi lead by Tepene Mamaku, who composed and performed a special mōteatea, He Taonga Mai a Tane, at the opening. After the pōwhiri, the kakahu were removed from the shoulders of the weavers and placed on stands around the marae. This presentation was supported by weaving demonstrations for the duration of the event.

The panels that became the kahu huruhuru, Ngā Here o te Ao, were individually woven by weavers during the exhibition observing a process introduced by Diggeress Te Kanawa called ‘he huarahi hou’ (the new way) and using feathers obtained from the Department of Conservation estate in Te Wai Pounamu. An international network of indigenous weaves also woven in their respective countries to symbolise a global fraternity ‘weaving the world’.
The opening of 'Ngā Here o te Ao', 3 April 2000. Photographer: Norm Here, image: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

At the end of the exhibition the individual panels were brought together by Reihana Parata, Cath Brown, Muri and Cloudy Te Kanawa at Oparure. Te Aue Davis, Kahutoi Te Kanawa and Diggeress Te Kanawa then completed the top of the cloak before being taken by Kath Waiari, Te Aue Davis and Kahu Te Kanawa to be completed and displayed at the Noumea 2000 Arts Festival.

Left to right: Erenora Puketapu Hetet, Kahu Te Kanawa, Kath Waiari and Te Aue Davis seen working on Ngā Here o Te Ao. Noumea 2000 Festival, New Caledonia.

Ngā Here o Te Ao is worn by the Chair of Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa at official events and plays an important role in the inauguration of newly elected Chairs at the Weavers National Hui.

Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa Deputy, Rānui Ngarimu, wearing Ngā Here o Te Ao at the Weavers National Hui, Awhitu marae, Palmerston North, 2003.