Weaving in Tokelau: Novena’s story

Weaving in Tokelau: Novena’s story


I made this one with the lau hulu. That fenu is the lau hulu. If the leaves have gone dry that’s lau hulu. If you use it but it’s still green, then we boil them, apart them, and then we get the white stuff called lau kie. The lau kie we use for the kiekie, that’s a special mat for Tokelauans. You use it for weddings. If my daughter is getting ready for a wedding, I’ll weave a mat for her. It’s called lavalava. My mum taught me how to do those things. At home, my mother was weaving, and I was watching. And she told me ‘come over here’. If she weaved, and told me to do things… but if I did wrong, you know, she told me ‘undo that’. ‘Undo that.’ You know, like if I did a wrong pattern. [She’d say] ‘undo that,’ ‘start it again, that’s not right.’ We call that kuku toho, that one but that one is kuku hau instead. Hau. We use that. That one is called papa, [and] that one is fakaholo. [And we use them] like that. And then we weave!

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