Skip Content
Loren Riddall : Maunga Kura Toi, Bachelor of Māori Art, Raranga

Loren Riddall began her raranga (weaving) journey in 2019 and this year she will graduate from Maunga Kura Toi, Bachelor of Māori Art, Raranga.

Loren quickly discovered that she not only enjoyed raranga, but she was good at it and with the support of her kaiako (tutor) she recently completed four years of study.

“I’m grateful for all the kaiako I’ve had because I probably wouldn’t have carried on without them. I would have been quite happy learning how to weave kete, but with them, I was able to further my studies.”

Learning raranga allowed Loren to create new friendships, gain new skills and dive deeper into her whakapapa (genealogy).

“I was able to reconnect with my grandmother. She taught tāniko (traditional weaving technique) at the Kawerau Mission School. I was able to incorporate her tāniko into the pieces that I wove last year.”

While completing her degree at the Rotorua campus of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Loren was able to weave kākahu (cloaks) for each of her tamariki and they came along on the four-year learning journey with her.

“They got to see me weaving and it’s created memories for them. I was able to build great relationships and my kids have gained two extra grandmothers and an aunty from different walks of life.”

Juggling full-time mahi and whānau life gets busy for Loren but her time spent studying and practicing the art of raranga gave her the outlet she needed to unwind.

“I was able to immerse myself in something that takes me away from the busyness of life and allows me to relax and concentrate. I didn’t have to think about what’s happening around me; it enables me to just be.”

Loren said when she first started her raranga journey, she felt vulnerable, learning a new skill amongst a group of people she didn’t know.

But the environment at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa made her feel safe and gave her the confidence she needed to continue studying and achieve.

“You learn the most when you’re enjoying yourself amongst other people who are also enjoying themselves. And that’s what it was like studying at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.”

Find out more about our toi Māori Arts programmes.

 Back to news & events

Published On: 11 May 2023

Article By: Cassia Ngaruhe

Other Articles

  • 16 May 2024

    Kawerau local lives out childhood dream of learning to weave

    As a young girl, Barbara Wheto always had a fascination with harakeke and the art of weaving. But growing up in an era where being Māori and Māori culture were scorned upon, she was never encouraged to explore the art form.

  • 09 May 2024

    Wānanga scholarship supports tauira in completing Master of Architecture thesis

    The 2023 Dr. Buck Nin Memorial Scholarship recipient for Māori contemporary art was 23-year-old Antonia van Sitter, who put the funds towards completing her Master of Architecture thesis.

  • 09 May 2024

    Rodney Whanga, Te Matatini Scholarship award winner

    Mahia te mahi hei oranga whakatipu, hei oranga tuku iho mō te iwi, ahakoa ngā piere nuku o te wā. Ko Rodney Whanga o Tainui waka, nō ngā iwi o Ngāti Maniapoto me Waikato te whakatinanatanga o te kōrero nei.

  • 08 May 2024

    University Associate Professor committed to reo Māori journey

    Sondra Bacharach is no stranger to education. She currently teaches a university philosophy programme in Aotearoa and has experienced classroom environments as a student within the American, French and German education systems.