Anyone can learn to make a plaited kete, one of the oldest and most popular of Maori art forms, from the leaves of New Zealand flax (phormium tenax). Te Mahi Kete gives detailed, step-by-step instructions, illustrated with numerous line drawings and black-and-white photographs, for preparing the flax and plaiting two simple types of kete. It also shows variations in technique for starting and finishing, making the handles and incorporating a decorative pattern.
Mick Pendergrast first became interested in plaiting and other Maori crafts while teaching in small communities in the East Cape area. He has maintained his interest and developed his expertise over a 40-year period, some of which was spent as a VSA teacher in the Solomon Islands and on the remote Polynesian outlier of Tikopia. He has curated major exhibitions of Maori weaving and published many books on Maori flaxcraft.
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