Mahere Tū ki te Rangi
It was December 1922 when Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck) issued a challenge to replicate the sails of ancient times. That challenge was taken up by Te Ra Ringa Raupa and one hundred years later the sail is complete.
One of the weavers, Makareta Jahnke says for her Mahere Tū ki te Rangi encapsulates the hard work of Te Ra Raupa – the hard work, the journey of bringing home matauranga Maori, to revitalise the arts of Maori sail making.
The original group of women started work after Mandy Sunlight, Ruth Port and Rauati Ewens travelled to London to view the original Te Ra held by the British Museum as part of the Captain Cook collection. Mentored by Maureen Lander, the size of the group grew along with their expertise.
Makareta says – “we hope to see Mahere Tū ki te Rangi alongside our teacher – which is Te Ra. The whole vision is to see our Maori sails back on waka at Waitangi 2040.”
The sail was installed in Hihiaua on December 12. It had been blessed and named in a fitting dawn ceremony at Whirinaki where it was created over the past several years. A large group of whanau were on hand to open the exhibition at Hihiaua, including the whanau of Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck) from Taranaki who put out the challenge 100 years ago, to the day, for the sail making skills to be brought back.