Harakeke - unique to New Zealand
We had some wonderful creations at our holiday activity on raranga (Māori weaving). When the ancestors of Māori arrived, their garments made from tropical Polynesian plants were too thin for our cooler climate. Maybe there were a few chilly winters as use of harakeke (New Zealand flax) developed.The art of weaving grew; a way to pass on culture. Flax trading wove together Māori and Europeans arriving on these shores in the early 19th century.
Did you know New Zealand flax is not a true flax like linen flax, but belongs to the lily family? The first European traders called it ‘flax’ because its fibres were similar to that of true flax found in other parts of the world.
Read more about Māori use of flax and the flax trade