Dr Rangi Te Kanawa
Conservator and weaver Dr Rangituatahi Te Kanawa (Ngāti Maniapoto) grew up surrounded by textiles—both her mother, Diggeress Rangituatahi Te Kanawa, and grandmother, Dame Rangimārie Hetet, were leading Māori weavers. Māori cloaks are made from muka (flax fibre), which can become brittle if exposed to light and humidity. Rangi’s research focuses on fibres dyed black with paru, an iron-rich mud that is highly acidic and can cause long-term damage to cloaks. This talk introduces some of her research into developing a scientific treatment which binds the fibres together and slows the deterioration caused by the dye, ensuring that these precious taonga survive.