Weaver makes kono to strengthen spirit during lockdown

By Bronson Perich

For most of us, a kono is a woven flax basket traditionally used to serve food.

But for weaver and artist Veranoa Hetet, weaving a nest of kono over the 33 days of lockdown was a way to help connect to her loved ones.

This would also help to cope with the difficulties of isolation. Hetet says that the kono was one of the first things she learned to weave as a child.

So weaving kono took her back to those days, when her mother taught her how to collect and prepare the harakeke, and weave with it.

"So in the simple, four-cornered basket, were a lot of lessons," Hetet says.

Being a weavers apprentice meant that when kids her age were playing, she was weaving with mum.

"I was a little bit envious of my cousins. All going out to the movies, and going to the swimming pool, [sic] and going to the beach, and I was often at home with mum weaving," Hetet says.

However, she acknowledges that her mother was trying to hand down her knowledge, and prepare her for future days.

Part of that includes handing down what her mother taught her at the Hetet School of Māori Art.