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Harakeke Plant base Hair Plaits next to Phormium tenax

For the love of Ātaahua (Beautiful)
Hair.

He whakamānawa nā te ātaahua Tamāhine nō Papatuanuku

 

Ātaahua Beautiful Plant Hair symbolises the nurturing of skills and knowledge before me and is inspired by my love for my beautiful daughters and Papatūānuku / Mother Nature

Harakeke (Phormium tenax) is indigenous to Aotearoa / New Zealand and superior to other plant fibers available by length, diameter, and tensile strength.  Muka, the prepared fibre of Harakeke are harvested from its leaf with distinct characteristics amongst cultivars offering abundant advantages purposeful in use and functionality. ​Phormium tenax plays a crucial role in numerous ecological communities, serving as a valuable food source, utilised for medicinal purposes, and frequently employed in the restoration of soils, waterways, and revegetation plantings.  Master weavers, known as Kairaranga, possess unique expertise and privileged access to highly esteemed resources. This specific cultivar used in our Weaving Hair Bundles undergoes specialised processing tailored for protective weaving styles. The crimp like nature of the fibers enhances flexibility throughout styling, while its mechanical properties reinforce the natural hair, ensuring a tighter hold and prolonged wear. This unique tensile characteristic ensures a secure grip on your own natural hair while still allowing it to breathe. ​ Designed to be Treasured Bundles! - Superior quality and unique origin. - Sustainable harvesting practices, eco-friendly nature, and biodegradability of Harakeke fibers - Reusable for 3+ style transformations - Easily repurposed into new extensions. The longer you wear them, the silkier they grow with your own natural hair.

Made to order - zero waste!

Circular Model for Harakeke / Phormium tenax Hair Production

We honor nature's value with sustainable practices, showcasing our craftsmanship and sharing exquisite knowledge.

Understanding Nature's Cost At Ātaahua Beautiful Plant Hair, we believe in transparency and accountability. We recognise that every product we offer has an impact on the environment. Let's delve into the nature's cost added to our Harakeke woven hair extensions: Sustainable Sourcing: Our Harakeke fibers are sourced from responsibly managed plantations where biodiversity is preserved, and ecosystem health is prioritised. By supporting sustainable cultivation practices, we minimise the environmental footprint of our raw materials. Low-Impact Processing: We employ eco-friendly processing methods that minimise water usage and energy consumption during the conversion of Harakeke fibers into hair extensions. Our commitment to reducing waste and pollution is evident at every stage of production. Biodegradable Packaging: We package our Harakeke Hair extensions using biodegradable materials were possible, reducing the burden on landfills and ecosystems. Our aim is to ensure that even the packaging aligns with our sustainability values. Carbon Footprint: We continuously assess and minimise the carbon footprint of our products, including transportation emissions and using environmental elements (wind, rain, sun) available daily to our use. By optimising logistics and prioritising local sourcing wherever possible, we strive to minimise our contribution to climate change. End-of-Life Considerations: When it's time to part ways with your Harakeke Hair extensions, rest assured that they can be composted or recycled, closing the loop on their life cycle and minimising environmental impact. Why It Matters: By understanding and acknowledging nature's cost, we empower our customers to make informed choices. By choosing Harakeke Bundles from Ātaahua Beautiful Plant Hair, you're not just investing in quality beauty products; you're supporting sustainable practices that protect our planet for future generations to come.

Braided Plant based Hair extensions next to Harakeke / Phormium tenax

Sharing sustainable well-being practices throughout the life of the product.

It's essential to comprehend the significance of maintaining a well-balanced ecosystem. An ecosystem, essentially a complex network of living organisms, their interactions, and their environment, plays a pivotal role in sustaining life on Earth. Every component within an ecosystem, from plants and animals to microorganisms, contributes to its overall equilibrium. When this balance is disrupted due to factors such as pollution, habitat loss, or climate change, it can lead to detrimental consequences for both the environment and its inhabitants. Recognising and valuing the intricate interdependencies within ecosystems is crucial for promoting biodiversity, ensuring natural resources endure, and fostering a healthier planet for current and future generations.

Adult hand holding baby hand

The Purpose

Sustainability

Plant / New growth

Lifestyle Use

Recycling

Disposal

Bio-degradable

Eco-friendly

Harakeke logo with Flower stalks

The Shift

Integrity

Supporting existing circular designs

Employment

Self-sustaining / Restorative

Transverse

Efficient

Harakeke / Phormium tenax red flower

The Value

Well-being

Community

Environment

Renewable

Safe for skin contact

Overall well-being of people and Life!

Honouring knowledge passed down to me.
Harakeke / Phormium tenax leaves

Tikanga

Tikanga refers to the customs, protocols, and practices associated with certain activities or resources within Māori culture. Regarding Harakeke (Phormium tenax), which holds significant cultural importance in Māori tradition, there are several tikanga (customs) associated with its cultivation, harvesting, and use which also differ between tribes: Cultivation: Before harvesting Harakeke, what is your intention and are you honouring your ancestors by creating something meaningful through the knowledge given you? It's essential to acknowledge and respect the land and the plant itself. This may involve reciting karakia (prayers) or offering thanks to the Rongoā itself, Tāne Mahuta (God of the Forest) and Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) for providing the resource. Harvesting: When harvesting Harakeke leaves for weaving or other purposes, it's customary to take only what is needed and to do so respectfully. This means avoiding over-harvesting and ensuring that the plant continues to thrive. Harvesting is not permitted at night or in rain and food is not to be taken into the Pā Harakeke. Care is taken to cut these leaves on the diagonal, away from the plant's core and from top to bottom, facilitating rainwater drainage and safeguarding the heart from flooding and potential demise. Preparation: After harvesting, the leaves are traditionally prepared by stripping away the outer layers to reveal the fibers within. This process requires skill and patience, and there may be specific techniques or rituals associated with it. Weaving: Weaving with Harakeke is considered a highly skilled art form in Māori culture. There are tikanga associated with various weaving techniques, patterns, and styles, as well as the use of different types of Harakeke fibers for specific purposes. Customarily, no food is eaten while working with the plant and pregnant or menstruating women do not harvest or weave, as they are in a tapu (sacred) state. Cultural Significance: Harakeke holds significant cultural and spiritual importance for Māori, representing strength, resilience, and connection to the land. Therefore, there may be tikanga related to the symbolic meanings of Harakeke and its use in ceremonies, rituals, or artistic expressions. Overall, tikanga for Harakeke encompasses practices that reflect respect for the plant, its cultural significance, and the traditional knowledge associated with its cultivation and use within Māori communities. These customs play a vital role in preserving and perpetuating the cultural heritage surrounding Harakeke.

Whanau symbolisim

Within Māori culture, the fan-shaped Harakeke plant embodies the essence of whānau, or family, drawing parallels between the plant's structure and dynamics and those of a familial unit. The harakeke stands proudly, firmly rooted in the earth, displaying resilience and strength. This symbolism underscores the deep-rooted significance of the Harakeke in Māori life, highlighting its role in representing and perpetuating familial values and relationships. The inner shoot, known as the rito, is equated with a child and is never removed, embodying the necessity for familial protection for survival. Positioned on each side are the awhi rito, serving as guardians of the rito and embodying parental roles, similarly never harvested. Conversely, only the outer leaves, symbolising extended family members, are harvested. Whānau symbolism relating to Harakeke: Variety within Unity: Just as a family is made up of diverse individuals with unique strengths and qualities, Harakeke comprises different varieties, each with its own attributes and uses. Despite their differences, they come together as one cohesive entity, symbolising unity within diversity. Strength and Support: The strong, fibrous leaves of Harakeke represent the resilience and support found within families. Like the sturdy leaves that provide structure and protection, families offer strength and stability to their members, enabling them to withstand life's challenges. Interdependence: Harakeke plants rely on each other for growth and survival, much like how family members depend on one another for support and guidance. This interdependence highlights the importance of cooperation and collaboration within families, where each member contributes to the well-being of the whole. Nurturing and Care: Just as Harakeke requires nurturing and care to thrive, families provide love, guidance, and nurturing environments for their members to flourish. This symbolism emphasises the importance of fostering positive relationships and creating supportive family environments. Cultural Identity: Harakeke holds significant cultural value for Māori, representing connections to the land, ancestors, and cultural heritage. Similarly, families play a central role in passing down cultural traditions, values, and knowledge from one generation to the next, ensuring the preservation of cultural identity. Overall, the symbolism of Whānau for Harakeke underscores the interconnectedness, strength, resilience, and cultural significance found within families and communities, mirroring the qualities embodied by the versatile and revered Harakeke plant of Aotearoa.

Weaving: A Transformative Journey

Te Whare Pora, under the stewardship of Hineteiwaiwa, serves as the bridge between the tangible and spiritual dimensions of weaving. The abode of weaving, known as Te Whare Pora, holds Hineteiwaiwa as its principal deity, symbolising the creative endeavours of women. Her influence extends across Polynesia and Aotearoa New Zealand alike. Hineteiwaiwa also assumes a role as protector of childbirth, with female infants traditionally dedicated to her care. Initiating the significant office of Ruahine, she orchestrates ceremonies that lift the tapu from newly constructed dwellings. At the helm of the aho tapairu, a noble female lineage, Hineteiwaiwa is revered in some iwi as the offspring of Tāne Mahuta and Hine Rauamoa. Occasionally known as Hina, embodying the lunar essence, she holds a pivotal place in cultural narratives. Te Whare Pora, under the stewardship of Hineteiwaiwa, serves as the bridge between the tangible and spiritual dimensions of weaving. Te Whare Pora, known as the house of weaving, transcends mere physicality; it embodies a profound state of existence. Entering this realm through initiation heightens the awareness of weavers, readying them to embrace knowledge at its pinnacle. Guided by sacred rites and ceremonies, initiates align their minds to absorb and preserve with utmost receptivity. Belief held that these rites imbued the apprentice with acumen and a thirst for profound wisdom. Committed to unraveling the spiritual intricacies of their craft, initiated weavers embarked on a journey of holistic understanding. Today, the sacred initiation rites are a rarity, discouraged by missionary influence for conflicting with Christian doctrine. Diverse Artistry of Te Whare Pora Tāniko, akin to European twining, adorns fine garments, bird cages, traps, and eel baskets. Its contemporary applications include belts, purses, bodices, armbands, headbands, and bandoliers. Arapaki or tukutuku, decorative latticework, embellishes the walls of wharenui, weaving stories into the very fabric of communal spaces. Piupiu, the craft of crafting harakeke garments for the waist, speaks to tradition and cultural identity. Whatu, known as the 'cloak weave,' forms the foundation of fabric production, weaving tales of heritage and kinship. Whiri encompasses various plaiting techniques utilised in crafting poi, waist girdles, and headbands, each strand woven with intention and meaning. Raranga, another weaving tradition, finds expression in the creation of kete, carrying stories and sustenance within their fibers.

Harakeke Flower stalk next to Cabbage tree/tī kōuka

A Vision of Provision.

Together, we can make a positive impact supporting the environment, our families and our communities.  Share the love by joining us in our journey towards sustainability by choosing products that prioritise nature's well-being.

 

Let's embrace beauty that goes beyond skin deep, with Harakeke.

Thank you kindly for your support!

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