Nei rā te reo karanga o Te Rā Ringa Raupā!
Over a five-day residency in early March 2021, Toi O Tāmaki Auckland Art Gallery hosted Te Tai Tokerau based rōpu kairaranga - Te Rā Ringa Raupā, mentored by Dr Maureen Lander.
Te Rā Ringa Raupā brings the knowledge of their tūpuna (ancestors) into the present, for the future. Reviving and preserving Māori history and the heritage of raranga (weaving), strengthening cultural identity and cross-cultural connectedness through the sharing of the raranga skills and technological knowledge of the past.
The rōpu (group) was formed in 2018 to continue the journey to recreate the only known woven Māori sail Te Rā, currently held within the collections of the British Museum. Three core members – Mandy Sunlight, Rouati Ewens and Ruth Port visited London in January 2019 to research the methods and techniques of weaving such a taonga (treasure). They have since returned with this knowledge, with the five collective members acquiring these gained skills and techniques to re-create the 4.3 metre Te Rā.
'Our ultimate vision would be to inspire a movement that results in seeing traditional Māori woven sails on waka at the 200th anniversary celebrations at Waitangi in 2040.' – Te Rā Ringa Raupā
Mātakitaki mai! Watch their residency in action.
With special thinks to the ringa raupā - Maureen Lander, Mandy Sunlight, Ruth Port, Makareta Jahnke, Kerrin Taylor, Maikara Ropata and their kaitautoko (supporters).