Culture & Events

Weaving stars come out at Waikato Museum for Matariki celebrations

Woven by Jude Te Punga Nelson (Te Aati Awa), Papatuuaanuku is a featured cloak in the biennial national exhibition of weaving, Te Manawa o te Whaariki

Matariki will be a real celebration at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato this Saturday (6 July), with an interactive day of kapa haka, poi, traditional Maaori games and other activities with the opening day of the biennial national exhibition of weaving, Te Manawa o te Whaariki.

Museum Director Cherie Meecham says: “We’re thrilled to host this national exhibition for the second time with Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa, the National Weavers Collective, and in partnership with the Waikato weavers’ roopu, Ngaa Hua o te Rito.”

“This exhibition pays tribute to the late Manawa Clarkson, youngest daughter of Te Arikinui, and to the kuia who sat at her feet.  It is very special indeed,” says Ms Meecham.

More than 50 selected items from 35 weavers from around the country will be on display, ranging from kaakahu (cloaks), and kete (baskets), to more contemporary works exploring non-traditional materials.

“It is fitting the opening of Te Manawa o te Whaariki coincides with our Matariki celebrations, because it showcases the artistry of weavers who are rejuvenating weaving practice around Aotearoa,” says Ms Meecham.

Live demonstrations of weaving by local artists will feature among the day-long activities at the museum on Saturday, along with Matariki interactive performances and specialist workshops.

The exhibition, Te Manawa o te Whaariki: To honour Te Manawa o te Whaariki, we honour the weavers, runs until 1 September.

Also still running is the ground-breaking Te Whaanau Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies exhibition which shines a spotlight on Maaori astronomy and how the traditional Maaori societal view of the night sky is being revitalised in the modern world.

Details of both exhibitions and of Matariki at the Museum are available on the Waikato Museum website

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