Saturday, May 10, 2014

Scottish Muka - May 2014 (NZ)

Materials: Muka (NZ Flax Fibre)Korari (NZ Flax Flowers) and Hemp
Individual Dimensions: 210 (W) x  210 (D) mm
Complete Dimensions: 450 (H) x 420 (W) mm

The pattern on the hand rolled muka panels are based on a section of a Scottish Campbell Tartan - my heritage on my mother’s side.  One element of the tartan is identified by the double railroad track repeating across the weave.  

For the other panels, rather than discarding the harakeke (NZ Flax) flower stalks, I have attached single korari pods as an alternative to decorative feathers and secured them using a single pair twining to Hemp rope.

I have used a traditional whatu (finger weaving) construction on the muka panels with a simple method of finishing each row with an overhand knot that was seen on an old kaakahu (cloak) at a weaving hui (gathering) in Raglan.  

The introduction of wool following European settlement in New Zealand influenced Mäori weavers and the decorative technique seen on this early käkahu (cloak), where the thread has been looped to create images and letters, has been used to create the ‘weave’ of the tartan .

Käkahu with feathers and wool (cloak)
Unknown (weaver), 1860-1900, New Zealand
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


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