Kete, small with strp; 1889; 1900-454-0001


Kete, small with strp

About this object

Made by the Rangitikei Maori about 1889.
This kete whītau/muka was made between 1880s and 1900s and can best be described as ‘fashion’ or dress items as they were intended to be used on social occasions where everybody would wear their “Sunday best” clothes. It has two tassels on either side of the strap. The kete is shaped like a half circle with two decorative sides with a fringe of flax around the sides and bottom.
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


Place Made

New Zealand

Medium and Materials



Width: 180mm
Length: 200mm

Named Collection

Maori: Taonga Collection

Credit Line

Presented by Mrs A F Palmer

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

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

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