Raranga is a Maori weaving technique in which leaves from New Zealand’s native harakeke (flax) plant are cut to expose the inner fibers and then woven together. This work documents the process of raranga for a recent Ngati Whatua restoration project. From raw leaf to woven taura (rope), the many strands of fibers coming together represent community and whanau. Mussels will be grown on the taura and laid on the ocean floor at Okahu Bay to help filter pollution in the water. To better grasp the importance of this restoration project, I had to shift from a Western understanding of natural resources and learn about Maori spiritual beliefs as they relate to water and harakeke. This work has begun a journey of cultural awakening and jolted an interest in culturally mindful design, as a means of working towards a more inclusive society.
Jessica is a Kiwi who grew up in South Africa. A management consultant turned graphic designer. A ski fanatic and avid hiker. Fluent in English and gibberish, with a smattering of Afrikaans. After finishing her Bachelor of Design degree she's looking for exciting opportunities to combine her business acumen with her passion for photography, design, and innovation.
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