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Harakeke (New Zealand flax) is the most widely used native plant in both traditional and contemporary weaving, but several other species are also used for their distinctive qualities.

The following information on the biology, ecology, distribution, threats to and propagation of weaving plants is aimed particularly at those learning raranga (plaiting) and whatu (weaving). We hope that a deeper understanding of the plants’ biology and information on how to grow them will assist weavers and communities in their efforts to conserve these important resources.


Further reading

For stunning images of weaving from a variety of plants see:

  • Miriama Evans & Ranui Ngarimu 2005. The art of Māori weaving. Wellington, Huia Publishers.
  • Mick Pendergrast 1987. Te aho tapu. The sacred thread. Auckland, Reed Methuen.
  • Tōī Te Rito Maihi & Maureen Lander 2005. He kete he kōrero. Every kete has a story. Auckland, Reed.

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