These Whanganui women are displaying Māori handcrafts, including cloaks and kete, possibly at a gathering of the local Māori Women's Institute, in the 1930s. The first Māori Women's Institute began in 1929 at Kohupātiki in Hawke's Bay, and other branches were established throughout the country; there were 40 by 1937. They had similar principles to the Country Women's Institutes started by Pākehā women, fostering skills relating to the care of home and family. They also promoted Māori values and traditional arts and crafts.
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