Ko Orowhana, ko Whangatauatia oku maunga
Ko Rangiheke toku awa
Ko Karirikura toku moana
Ko Te-One-Roa-a-Tohe toku tai
Ko Mamari, ko Ngatokimatawhaorua, ko Tinana oku waka
Ko Te Aupouri, ko Te Rarawa oku iwi
Ko Ruth Port toku ingoa
Nga mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa.
Raranga / Weaving
with Ruth Port at the Raglan Summer Arts School 2021
Raranga began for me 18 years ago when I attended a weaving wananga in Whaingaroa. However it took two years before I made a real commitment to the art of weaving. Now I can’t imagine a life without kōrari/flax.
Weaving has taken me to many places throughout Aotearoa as well as the UK running weaving wananga. These included workshops at the British Museum, which was a wonderful opportunity, and has since led to our rōpu Te Rā Ringa Raupa researching the only known Māori woven sail of its era.
I was until fairly recently the Kairaranga at The Old School Arts Centre in Whaingaroa/Raglan. Nga Hua o te Rito is our local weaving rōpu and I have been on the committee for several years helping to run hui in Whaingaroa/Raglan and our annual hui at Kawhia.
I sat on the Raglan Community Arts Council for 11 years so that weaving could have a voice in our community. It is important to me that Maori weaving receives the recognition and exposure that the art deserves.
Te Rōpu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa is the name of our national weavers’ group and six weavers throughout the country are nominated and voted on to the committee to work for the wellbeing of weaving in Aotearoa. I have been voted onto this committee for three terms of four years and feel privileged to help shape the future of Raranga/Whatu for our weavers.
I currently reside in Ahipara where I have ancestral links and where there are many gifted weavers.
My passion for the art of weaving is ongoing. This is both as an individual on a personal journey of exploration within a time honoured art form, and as a skilful and successful tutor inspiring and inviting others to become part of a beautiful whaariki/mat. This whaariki has no limits and allows each weaver’s unique essence to be expressed and valued as an integral part of the whole. Raranga for me is a fulfilling and exciting way of life.
Tihei Mauri Ora!