Korowai/Kakahu are more than a cloak or worn garments. They are manifestations of status and tribal pride. The intricate work, time and techniques put into this Korowai or Kakahu is profound. Each one told a story about the person who wore it. The techniques and art of Korowai/Kakahu have been passed down through generations, hence it is still with us today.
Worn and made by our Tupuna (Chiefs) and leaders to identify rank and status is no wonder this profound intricate work is held so dearly to us as a people/country.
Today we wear Korowai/Kakahu for achievements, celebrations and to send our loved ones on their final journey when past.
Korowai creative is committed in attaining its purpose, to:
"A descendant of Ngati Kahungunu, raised in Te Whaiti (Ngati Whare). I lived most of my life in Rotorua (Te Arawa) - at Hinemoa Point where it begun for me...
Growing up with the native forest and everything that grew in it as your toys and playground. No TV, no shop nearby, no brought toys! We were truly blessed!! We learnt to be creative with what was around us. "If you could imagine it, you could make it" There was no but's or you can't in our home as a child. Our parents supported ideas of growth.
Leaving home and moving to the city was exciting and I embraced it... open to all the possibilities and opportunities, the city supported my creative and inquiring mind. I became a mum at a young age and over a span of time had 3 more babies. My two boys being the oldest and two girls being the youngest. I'm grateful to my children for being their mum. And now I am grandmother to thirteen grandchildren xo...
My mother in-law Katerina Galvin was the best!! She was a mother figure to me, she loved my children and grandchildren. She was my best friend!! She loved baking, gardening, crosswords, music, and making Korowai just to name few! At the age of 95 years old she taught me how to make Maori cloak Korowai.
It was watch and learn!! She said "I will show you once"!
Mum and I held Korowai weekly classes for anyone to attend. To share their knowledge and to learn from her, she learnt from Emily Schuster. it was wonderful!! Mum passed a few years later, which left a big hole in my life. I wanted to continue Korowai in honour of her. She told me to keep sharing Korowai, and not to give up on it.
I moved from Rotorua and started tutoring classes to Adults, High School students and primary schools through the Hawkes Bay. All I could think of was sharing knowledge and learning more about being creative with Korowai and keeping part of our heritage alive.
After much inquiry and exploring of knowledge I am able to share with you Korowai in creative ways. Not forgetting I am only a tauira (student) All driven by passion to share part of our heritage, using techniques and materials from times of old and new...keeping it alive! Expressing your identity through Korowai. Providing our beautiful art in different ways that can reach people anywhere on the globe."