Kete, with 1 small pocket; unknown; 2011-013-0002


Kete, with 1 small pocket

About this object

The kete has one pocket, rectangular in shape with a fringe around the edge. It has dyed flax threads of green, and possibly red (the colour has faded to orange) loosely woven though the front of the kete. The back is plain.

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.

The colouring in this weaving is produced by soaking the whītau/ muka in natural dyes. Dyes were produced from either paru/black mud or from the bark from any one of a number of native trees, depending on the colour required.

Date Made


Place Made

New Zealand

Medium and Materials



Width: 150mm
Length: 250mm

Named Collection

Maori: Taonga Collection

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

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

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