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He Iti Te Kete- The Basket Is Small

NZD $750

Tangiwai Pounamu- Bowenite  from piopiotahi Fiordland Aotearoa NZ

The story of Tangiwai is a story of aroha (love). Tama-āhua lost his wife Hine-tangiwai who had ran to the southernmost reaches of Piopiotahi/Fiordland. When he managed to find her, she threw herself in the river and turned into a rock. This rock is called Tangiwai (after her). Tama dived into the water to retrieve her, crying as he did so. His tears were captured in the stone and are remembered forever after.

He iti te kete reminds us that the basket is small, our treasures and resources are finite. We remember the value of a basket is for its empty space and we likewise remember that once filled, we have made a conscious decision to value the object and carry it. Could we do this for and with each other? Could we ever value what we have always had with new eyes again?


Already Ancient Aotearoa hand make all our products in Aotearoa NZ. No two pieces are the same!

Out of stock

The woven kete (basket) was not only valued as a tool. Imbued in the weave are intricate patterns and fine adornments making kete a valuable object of aesthetic value and personal significance. We reflect on what we today call fashion and wonder what defines our tastes. Is it the look, the feel, the spirit in which the work is completed? In the old days, things were made with legacy in mind, the older they were the more value they held.

Māori legend say that knowledge itself was brought here from the heavens in kete (baskets).

Hold this kete to the light and see the waters it contains. (Please note: Photograph shows a better colour of the stone when light passes through.)

Additional information

Weight 42.1 g
Dimensions 51 × 55 × 5 mm