Woven flax letter holder ; 1889; 1900-455-0001

Name/Title

Woven flax letter holder

About this object

This letter holder is delicately woven from whītau flax fibre in the first decade of the 20th century. It's function parallels common domestic items customarily made of Pākehā materials using stitch craft methods, but are made of traditional Maori materials using weaving techniques.

The letter holder has two pockets to hold letters. The front is decorative, the back plain. Rectangular in shape with a pointed top. It has a flax fringe all the way round the edge and two tassels at the top with a further 8 tassels on the pockets.

In traditional Māori society, for almost every situation where a container was required, a weaver could manufacture a kete/basket to accommodate that need. For the softest or delicate baskets whītau/flax fibre was used. Whītau, also called muka in some districts, is obtained by stripping leaves of harakere/native flax by scraping with either the edge of a shell or more recently a blunt metal knife. This process exposes the fibres that run the length of the leaves, allowing them to be removed. Sometimes they are softly beaten and/or washed before use.

Date Made

1889

Place Made

Rangitikei

Place Notes

Made by the Rangitikei Maori about 1889.

Medium and Materials

Flax

Measurements

Width: 250mm
Length (at longest point): 470mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Flax

Subject and Association Keywords

Kete

Subject and Association Keywords

Rangitikei

Named Collection

Maori: Taonga Collection

Credit Line

Presented by Mrs A F Palmer

Object Type

Kete

Object number

1900-455-0001

Copyright Licence  

Attribution - Non-commercial - Share Alike (cc) Attribution - Non-commercial - Share Alike (cc)

This object is from
Tags
Flax
Kete
Rangitikei

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