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Contemporary baskets (kete)


Width: 23.000 cm (min.)
Width: 23.000 cm (min.)

Majority collected by Ms. Dorota Czarkowska Starzecka during British Museum field trips in 1993 and 1994.

AOA 1993.Oc3.70;AOA 1993.Oc3.71;AOA 1995.Oc5.2;AOA 1991.Oc2.1;AOA 1994.Oc4.98;AOA

Africa, Oceania, Americas

    Contemporary baskets (kete)

    Maori, late 20th century AD
    From New Zealand, Polynesia

    The art of Maori basket plaiting is currently flourishing. Basket makers are appreciated for their skill and knowledge, and possession of a kete is considered a badge of cultural identity. An owner takes particular care of a basket out of respect for the artist. Relatively small baskets such as these are used for carrying personal belongings.

    The kete illustrated here are made from strips of New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), pingao grass (Desmoschoenus spiralis), and kiekie (Freycinetia baueriana). Baskets decorated with geometric patterns are known as kete whakairo. Tthe dye may be natural or artificial.

    The baskets were made by the following artists:
    purple diagonals - Mana Rangi
    red/yellow - M. Murray
    beige - Christina Hurihia Wirihana
    brown/beige - Kimihia Doel
    red/beige - Eva Anderson
    black with feathers - Erenora Puketapu Hetet
    black/beige - M. Murray
    large purple/beige - Maro Brown
    yellow - Ruhia Oketopa
    green/beige and black/beige - Christina Hurihia Wirihana

    M. Pendergrast, Raranga Whakairo: Maori plaiti (Auckland, Reed Books, 1991)

    D.C. Starzecka (ed.), Maori art and culture, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1998)


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