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Ngā kura a Hineteiwaiwa: The embodiment of Mana Wahine in Māori fibre Arts

Imagine you are on a continuum of past present and future, in the present while connected to the past and creating for the future. Kairaranga are constantly in this experience through engaging with the materiality of the practices of raranga and raranga whatu. The key focus of this thesis is to provide theoretical discussion of the raranga and whatu practices that are the creative component of this doctoral research. The theories that inform the analysis are Kaupapa Māori and Mana Wahine both of which, like raranga, are organic to this place, Aotearoa , and have grown as descendants of Papatūānuku and Ranginui . The connection between these theories and the creative practices of raranga and whatu form a cultural praxis through which I argue enables the transformative power of raranga and whatu practices. This too is the essence of Te Whare Pora, a weaving house that embraces kairaranga both conceptually and materially and which provides the approach to the project. Te Whare Pora is a place of knowledge and a place of practice. Like Kaupapa Māori and Mana Wahine theories it is a cultural form and expression of praxis. As kairaranga we create taonga informed by the creative genius of our tūpuna from the native plants of the land. These ageless practices and the taonga we create are permeated with our own present realities. The taonga then carry this tūpuna knowledge into the future in multiple forms. To highlight this, I explore a range of practices that exemplify raranga and raranga whatu as cultural embodiment. This is articulated through notions of raranga as an expression of cultural bodies of knowledge, creative practice and regenerative praxis that span the past, present and future. As such, this thesis is an expression of the creative journey of theory and practice inspired by tūpuna knowledge in the art forms of raranga and raranga whatu. The practices of raranga and raranga whatu not only transform the materials the kairaranga is using, but also the kairaranga themselves. These practices become self-affirming, culturally affirming and ultimately decolonizing.
Type of thesis
Campbell, D. (2019). Ngā kura a Hineteiwaiwa: The embodiment of Mana Wahine in Māori fibre arts (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12583
The University of Waikato
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