Rare kete find new home at museum

Margot Yates and John Broughton with their grandmother's 100-year-old kete, which they have...
Margot Yates and John Broughton with their grandmother's 100-year-old kete, which they have donated to the Otago Museum, in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The Parata family has added to its taonga already housed in the Otago Museum by gifting rare flax kete dating back more than 100 years.

Associate Prof John Broughton and his sister, Margot Yates, handed over the small collection at a ceremony yesterday and both were pleased the items would be well cared for and enjoyed by others.

The kete belonged to their grandmother, Ani Parata Evans, daughter of Tame Parata, House of Representatives Southern Maori member who served in the Government of Prime Minister Richard Seddon.

She often accompanied him to Wellington in the role of personal assistant.

Prof Broughton described one of the kete, a finely woven container made to hold knitting needles, as "absolutely mega rare".

Made of harakeke (flax), the piece is in immaculate condition after being hung in the hall of the family home for more than 100 years.

Museum acting director of collections and research Clare Wilson said they were "an excellent addition to the collection" and it was nice for them to join other Parata family pieces, which include three cloaks and a patu paraoa (whalebone club), in the Tangata Whenua gallery.

It was unknown when the kete would go on display.

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