Continuing on the tradition of flax weaving passed on to her by her mother, Nellie Smart and her tupuna (ancestors), Renee is the great, great grand daughter of the Te Rarawa Chief Herewini Te Toko. Herewini was a signatory to the Treaty of Waitangi and leader in the north Hokianga region of Rangi Point.
Renee is aware that Mahi Kete is a gift that has passed from one Maori generation to the next, it is symbolic not only of Maori cultural and spiritual values which it embodies but also the aroha (love) that is fundamental to the Maori.
It is this aroha that compels the kete maker to give away their first kete. The spiritual aspect is also very important aspect of the kete making process with many karakia (prayers) offered at certain stages of the flax harvesting and weaving process.
It is said that 'He kete he koreroEvery kete has a story'
Renee is glad to share here stories with you. No reira tena kotou, tena kotou, katoa