Thursday, December 3, 2009

Work in Progress

A week or so ago, I travelled down to the Ngai Tahu Hui-a-Tau at Colac Bay in Southland. It was a ten hour bus ride with a group of Ngai Tahu people, which turned out to be a lot of fun - albeit a long journey. We all found ways of keeping ourselves amused and I loved watching one lovely kuia (old lady), who sat diagonally across from me in the bus, weaving with fresh harakeke (flax). Watching her nimble fingers weave the intricate patterns for her putiputi (flower) was almost hypnotic. It was a very relaxing way to pass the time. I spoke to her about her work and she told me she had been delighted to learn some new weaving techniques different to her own. "I thought I should practice them at the hui and on the bus while I could still remember them," she said.

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