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Photography

Dr Werner Kissling: A Retrospective

Woman making a basket, Aotearoa New Zealand

Description:

 

'POL. NZ. North Island. Plant fibres, kiekie strips for baskets. Whakatane River.

 

Strips of Kiekie fibres (a root climber of the Pandanus family) in raw state are employed in making small coarse baskets as a substitute for the pocket in women's garments. Like all Polynesians the Maoris were experts in basketry and it is in the plaiting of baskets that Maori women derived the so-called "finger-weaving" or plaiting of strong fibres into close meshed fabrics for cloaks and capes in a temperate country.

 

Note tattooed lips and chin of woman. The facial distortion universally practised in former times with protruding tongue, accompanies the old woman's movements.'

 

Dr Kissling's note, 1978

 

This is a photograph of Te Rori, a skilled Māori weaver, making a basket out of kiekie. She has a moko kauae (chin tattoo). Dr Kissling's comment on her expression does not take into account that she may have been concentrating or talking as she worked.

 

Research note, 2019

Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
PP/KISSLING COLLECTION, Retrospective 1978/26
Digital Number:
DMPG291n
Creation Date:
1939
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council