Te Whare Pora: The House of Initiated Weaving
Hineteiwaiwa is the Goddess I have worked with at this time of of Lughnassad, a Celtic festival named after the God Lugh who was revered for his skills and crafts.
Hineteiwaiwa is the principal goddess of Te Whare Pora – The House of Weaving. She is known to the peoples of Polynesia as well as to Māori. Hineteiwaiwa represents weaving and the arts created by women. She is also a guardian over childbirth. In the past, all female children were dedicated to her. Hineteiwaiwa also began the important office of ruahine where a woman takes a critical role in the ceremonies lifting the tapu (sacred restriction) from newly-built houses.
She is the head of the aho tapairu, an aristocratic female line of descent. Sometimes this goddess is referred to as Hina, the female personification of the moon.
Te Whare Pora has been described as a ‘state of being’ as well as a place.
Weavers who were initiated into this house had their levels of consciousness raised to be in a state of optimum readiness to receive knowledge. This was achieved through karakia (prayers) and initiation ceremonies. It was believed that the karakia endowed the student with a receptive mind and retentive memory. They would become possessed with quick understanding and a thirst for deeper knowledge. Initiated weavers became dedicated to the pursuit of a complete knowledge of weaving, including the spiritual concepts. Very few weavers today experience this initiation ceremony. The practice was discouraged by missionaries, who considered it anti-Christian.
This print is dedicated to my friend Kathy Shaw-Ulrich x Me tōku aroha tino nui
To my friends in the Northern Hemisphere …May the weight of the Harvest fall gently upon your shoulders.