This week we have been learning about Raranga. Raranga was traditionally used to make practical items like rope, baskets, and fishing nets. However, we wanted to use raranga to make ika to hang in our classroom as art.
Earlier this week we learned about the tikanga surrounding raranga before we went out to harvest the harakeke. Miss Perry told us some stories about raranga and harvesting harakeke with her Nan and Koro when she was our age.
When it was time to harvest the harakeke we had to make sure we had everything we needed. We harvested a day early when the sun was shining because we learnt we can’t cut the harakeke in the rain. We had learnt our karakia and headed out to the harakeke at the back of the field. We chose a big plant to cut from. It is important to only cut the outer leaves to keep the rito and awhi rito safe and healthy so the plant can keep growing and thriving. While we were cutting the harakeke, we made sure we cleared away any dying leaves from the harakeke to help keep it healthy.
Finally, we had our harakeke and we went back to class. Miss Perry helped us to prepare our harakeke by stripping down the leaves and softening them. On Thursday we spent our morning weaving. We each made an ika to hang up in our classroom. It was challenging to follow the steps but we were careful, resilient, and patient with the process. We all made an ika which we gifted to Ruma Waru to hang up in the classroom. Miss Perry made putiputi to koha to Farmer B, and made us each a koha of our own raranga ika to take home. When we had finished our raranga ika, it was time to tidy up and return our offcuts of harakeke back to their mother-plants.
It has been a fantastic week in Ruma Waru learning about raranga, tikanga and making raranga ika. We have learned lots of new kupu Māori along the way too!