My kete of memories

A kete is a traditional Maori basket, made from harakeke (New Zealand flax).

This is my kete. It’s one of my oldest possessions, as I was given it when a child. The very kind lady who lived next door had made one for my mother, and I was so fascinated by it that Mrs W. wove a smaller one especially for me. It’s just the right size for gathering produce from the garden. Here it is with a load of freshly picked broad beans.

It’s a small miracle that this kete has survived multiple changes of residence over the years. Decades later, it’s a precious memento of my childhood, of my old home town of Opotiki, and of a lovely lady who helped keep the traditions alive.

Prepared in different ways, harakeke has a wide range of uses. Here’s a little more information on this precious and versatile plant.

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