In honour of Waitangi Day, which commemorates the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1840, today’s Doodle shows the harakeke plant, which is native to the island nation.
The common flax, also known as harakeke in te reo Mori, is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most respected native plant species. Its tall, green flax leaf blades and vivid blooms provide refuge and food for New Zealand’s fauna, including t (birds with a distinctive white throat) and korimako (bellbirds).
Harakeke is an important fibre plant for raranga, the art of flax weaving, according to Mori. It’s used to make everything from baskets to floor mats, and even raincoats by mixing the harakeke’s harsh outer layers with its soft inner threads.
These multiple layers, according to Mori, depict the family lineage: the outer layer represents the grandparents, while the inner layer represents the parents, wrapped around the innermost fresh shoots indicating the children who are protected by all previous generations.
New Zealand’s acknowledgements are Ng mihi o te w Aotearoa.