This small type of kākahu is referred to as a rāpaki as it can be worn as both a small shoulder cape or a wrap for around the waist. The name of the rāpaki is ‘Rongomai’, meaning and symbolising peace. This is due to its subtle tan tones inclusive of the two woven tāniko pattern borders which represent ‘aramoana’, or ‘pathway through the waters’.

It is all flax fibre, extracted using the mussel shell, with no artificial materials or modern methods used, beyond that of a stanley knife, and gas burner and pots to make the tāwhero dye. All fibre for tāniko border and warp threads have been spun on the leg. The tan colour is obtained by steeping the fibre in the juice of the tāwhero. The white is the natural colour of the fibre for contrast.

The piece was started in September 2006 and completed on 6th December 2006.

Poi Piu
Karl Leonard, Master Weaver, Aotearoa, New Zealand

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