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Object: Hieke (rain cape)

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Title Hieke (rain cape)
Production Te Aue Takotoroa Davis (weaver), 1996, Auckland
Medium summary neinei (spiderwood), pïngao (golden sand sedge), kiekie, muka, bird bone, wood
Materials bird bone, muka, wood, neinei, pingao, Kiekie
Classification hieke, capes, cloaks
Technique warp twining
Dimensions Overall: 1040mm (Length) x 1200mm (Width)
Credit line Purchased 1996 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number ME015881

Rain capes of the hieke type were worn by all people for rough work and during bad weather. Their usefulness is attested to by their survival into the twentieth century in remote areas. Hieke like this quite decorative example demonstrate how traditional materials and weaving techniques provided successful waterproofing

Te Aue Davis is a renowned kuia (female elder) and weaver involved with Mäori arts, and culture and heritage groups. Using traditional techniques, she wove this cloak entirely from the fibres of New Zealand native plants. The thatching technique on the outside of the cape funnels off the rain, while the neinei fibre woven into its body gives extra water resistance. Davis first saw neinei capes at Otaua marae near Kaikohe. A kaumatua (elder) described how to collect and use neinei for waterproofing, and she wove this garment following his directions as closely as possible. This hieke was worn by the Crown Princess of Japan when she visited Te Papa with the Crown Prince in 2002.

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