Dame Rangimārie Hetet
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Dame Rangimārie Hetet, MBE CBE DBE
Together Dame Rangimārie Hetet and her daughter Diggeress Te Kanawa helped to revitalise the art of traditional Māori weaving in the 1950s.
A foundation member of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, Hetet used the League as a platform to teach weaving to many, and was made a lifetime member in recognition of her efforts. In a radical departure she decided to part from the customary tradition of teaching only within one’s iwi – and over the years taught innumerable students – helping to ensure the art would not only survive, but thrive.
Rangimārie Hetet exhibited her craft all over the world and received many honours, including an Honorary Doctorate from Waikato University in 1986. Hetet had a lifetime commitment to her art as the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography noted: “Failing eyesight and arthritis limited her ability to complete intricate weaving. But nothing could dull her passion; up until the day she died she continued to weave”.
Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato is the kaitiaki of Dame Rangimārie Hetet’s work.
In this excerpt from Wairoa – Rangimarie, Hetet talks about her early life in and around Ōpārure.
Find out more about Dame Rangimārie Hetet:
Read the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography entry for Dame Rangimārie Hetet.
Visit Te Papa collections online to learn more about Dame Rangimārie Hetet.
Image: Screengrab Waiora – Rangimarie, courtesy of Waiora Broadcasting.
Catalogue Reference F13721
Production Company: Waiora Broadcasting