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People and kākahu 

Find out about prominent weavers and researchers, and read remarkable family stories about famous cloaks.

Māori cloak weavers

Erenora Puketapu-Hetet (1941–2006) wears a kaitaka (fine flax cloak) that belonged to Ruhia Pōrutu. By Norm Heke, 2006. Te Papa

Here, we profile influential Māori weavers of the past, who have each left a great legacy behind them. Keep an eye out for more profiles to come.

Kākahu researchers

Dr Patricia Te Arapo Wallace, Honorary Research Associate, Te Papa. Photograph by Norm Heke, 2011. Te Papa

Explore the work of three researchers who combine customary Māori knowledge with Western scientific methodology – Hokimate Harwood, Rangi Te Kanawa, and Dr Patricia Wallace.

Artist Maureen Lander

Dr Maureen Lander, artist and researcher. Photograph by Norm Heke, 2011. Te Papa

Maureen Lander is a multimedia installation artist, a weaver, and an academic. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1986, including in Te Papa’s exhibition Kahu Ora | Living Cloaks, 2012.

Stories of Māori cloaks

Kukupa Tirikātene, the late Honourable Tini Whetū Mārama Tirikātene-Sullivan, and Tamara Williams. By Norm Heke, 2008. Te Papa

Some cloaks tell treasured family stories, connecting the ancestors who owned them with their descendants today. The cloaks recall relationships among Māori, and between Māori and early European settlers. They speak of leadership, compassion, generosity, and respect.

Tirikātene Family Cloak

Kukupa Tirikātene

Kukupa Tirikātene, Whetū Tirikātene-Sullivan (1932--2011), and Tamara Whetū Williams talk about the history and spiritual significance of their family's kiwi-feather cloak.
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Banner image: Erenora Puketapu-Hetet (1941–2006) weaves on Te Papa’s marae, 2006. Photograph by Norm Heke. Te Papa

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