Te Ara Hou - Creating a “New Pathway”
By Kaumatua Tau Huirama of Waikato/Maniapoto - of the Tainui nation
The Whariki - woven floor mat was constructed by master weaver Heeni Kerekere of Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Te Whanau a Apanui Tribes. With the help and thoughts of participants and weavers at the Kupidabin Gathering of the Four Winds in November 2017, the Theme “ New Beginnings”
The whariki was weaved upon the lands that the old people walked and now under the warmth and care of Aunty Maureen and Uncle Des, for the many people yet to walk.
Each strand of the Whariki represents the thoughts of those that attended the gathering from the Four Winds, the inclusion of the importance of people “all people” the love shared, the wisdom unpacked and the good fortune that will cross the pathway at Kupidabin through the ongoing potential of the new beginnings.
This whariki is made from our most popular weaving resource, a New Zealand native plant called Harakeke - Phormium Tenax. Traditionally harvested with a Karakia - prayer, cut and prepared into even widths of stands, these were then boiled, softened, bleached then dyed with 3 colour varieties of blues (commercial dye) and then woven into a panel, then a join - hono is made to replace the old strands with new ones, to make another panel. The Harakeke plant represents for Maori the world of families within families. The colour blue represents the Heavens, Sky Father- Ranginui and the red stripe represents Earth Mother - Papatuanuku and their sacred love they held for each other. The overall weaving design used is called Whakatakoto - to lie down, this design is traditionally used as an overall pattern when weaving a whariki. All the weaving strands on the whariki represents all the shared interweaving of love, energies and stories from all of the participants at the New Beginnings Kupidabin Gathering.
The story behind the name “He Ara Hou”
The land remains the same old and valued, and with new thinking and innovation for Kupidabin who is on a trajectory of change.
The visions I saw when leaving this site was the arrival of the old people on walk about, stopping and resting down below. They said that they felt safe and the land felt caring for them to rest for a while.
May the hills stand tall and nurturing,
May Sun shine so brightly into the valleys,
May the old people stop to rest,
May Peace be always at hand,
May your cloak of warmth
Be from those of us that leave with memories and love for the land and you all.
He aha te mea nui o te ao ? He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata !
What is the most important thing in the world ? It is the people, the people, the people !