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In the rich tapestry of Aotearoa's natural world, indigenous flora like Harakeke, Whau, Houhere, Whanake, Neinei, Tanekaha, Raurekau, Hinau, Korari, and Makomako offer an exquisite palette of dyes and fibers. These treasures of our land have been cherished by generations for their vibrant hues and versatile properties. Harakeke, with its resilient fibers and rich brown dye, embodies strength and adaptability, while Whau's fibers whisper of flexibility and grace. Houhere, with its fine lace bark fibers, holds the promise of craftsmanship and artistry, while Whanake's fibers symbolize growth and renewal. Neinei, with its slender fibers, evokes the elegance of simplicity. Together, these natural extracts weave tales of tradition and connection, grounding us in the beauty and bounty of our land.



Harakeke, or flax, holds a revered place in Māori culture, offering a wealth of traditional uses. Its strong fibers were woven into intricate kete (baskets), whāriki (mats), and piupiu (skirts), showcasing the craftsmanship and skill of Māori artisans. Tanekaha dye, extracted from the bark of the tanekaha tree, provided a rich, earthy pigment used to adorn woven creations and woodwork, infusing them with deep hues of red and brown. Raurekau dye, sourced from the bark of the raurekau tree, offered a spectrum of colors, enriching Māori artworks with vibrant tones. Houhere lace bark, with its delicate fibers, was prized for its softness and durability, often used to embellish garments and adornments, adding intricate patterns to Māori arts. These natural materials, deeply ingrained in Māori traditions, continue to inspire contemporary artists, preserving cultural heritage and fostering creative expression.


Tanekaha, also known as the celery pine, holds significant cultural and practical importance in Māori tradition. Beyond its majestic stature in the forests of Aotearoa, tanekaha's bark provided a rich dye, imparting deep red and brown hues to woven garments and artworks, symbolizing connection to the land. The timber of the tanekaha tree was prized for its strength and durability, fashioned into robust tools, weapons, and structures by Māori artisans. Medicinally, various parts of the tanekaha were utilized for their healing properties, addressing ailments ranging from stomachaches to wounds. Tanekaha's presence is interwoven with historic narratives, with stories passed down through generations recounting its resilience and significance in Māori culture, serving as a testament to the enduring bond between the people and the land.

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