November 20, 2019
Traditional crafts take on new stories
One of the authors of a new book on craft traditions in Aotearoa says it was a chance to expand the narrative about craft and making.
Karl Chitham from Ngāpuhi, who is also the director of the Dowse Art Gallery in Lower Hutt, says the authors wanted to widen the net to cover in crafts such as stone wall building and knife making and intangible practices such as kapa haka and oratory.
They also wanted to show how crafts can build up layers of stories, such as around a tarapouahi or muka shawl woven by Cathy Schuster and gifted to Samoan performance artist Rosanna Raymond.
“The gifting of that work was through their shared interest in looking after Hinemihi, which is a whare whakairo that sits in England at the moment, so through that kind of exchange, that object becomes imbued with a whole lot of other things,” he says.
Crafting Aotearoa, a cultural history of making In Aotearoa and Oceania, is published by Te Papa Press.
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