Welcome to A Kiwi's Yarn, a store owned and operated by Diana and Debbie, two sisters from Auckland, NZ. We have been crafting since the age of 7, and love nothing more than to share our passion and knowledge with others. We strongly believe that crafting is one of the best ways to bring people together, as even the best of us continue to learn and improve with the help and innovation of others.
Why 'A KIWI'S Yarn'?
The Kiwi Defined
1. a flightless New Zealand bird with hairlike feathers, having a long down-curved bill with sensitive nostrils at the tip.
2. a New Zealander, especially a soldier or member of a national sports team.
Though the kiwi bird is the signature symbol associated with New Zealand and its people, not many understand the history and lore behind that connection.
Lore of the Kiwi
The first thing to know is the kiwi did not always look so unassuming, nor was it always flightless. It started off as a normal, colorful bird just like any other, and this is the story of how that changed.
On a quiet day, Tane Mahtua, god of the forest, was walking through his domain and saw that a great plague of bugs was eating everything in sight. At the sight of the trees and forest sickening, he called to his brother, Tane Hokahoka, the lord of the sky, and asked him to call his children down from the forest roof so that they may find a solution. When the birds gathered around the two gods, Tane Mahtua addressed them.
"A plague of insects is eating my children, the trees. I need one of you to come down and live on the forest floor or my children will die, and so will your home."
All was silent among the birds, and so Tane Hokahoka turned to Tui. He asked Tui to leave his home in the treetops and live among the forest floor to save their home, but Tui would not go because he feared the dark.
So Tane Hokahoka looked to Pukeko and said, "My child, will you come down from the forest roof to save our home?" But Pukeko looked at the floor below and shuddered at the thought of getting his feet wet in the cold, damp earth, and so he refused.
At this rejection, Tane Hokahoka implored his child Pipiwharauroa to save them. But this bird would not come down either, for it wanted to finish its nest.
Losing hope, Tane Hokahoka's eyes searched the dying forest and found Kiwi. "Kiwi," he spoke, "will you come down from the forest roof?"
Kiwi looked at the sunlight filtering in through the trees above, looked at his brothers and sisters, and finally let his eyes rest on the damp forest floor below him. Bringing his gaze back up to Tane Hokahoka, he took a deep breath and said, "I will."
The gods were delighted at the prospect of having the forest saved, but Tane Mahtua did not want Kiwi to accept this fate without understanding it fully. So he said, "Kiwi, I must warn you that if you do this, your appearance will have to change. You will need thick, strong legs to rip apart logs, you will lose your beautiful colored feathers, and you will never be able to return to your home among the treetops. If you are sure, will you come down from the forest roof?" And Kiwi said, "I will."
Tane Hokahoka turned to the other birds and addressed them, "Tui, because you were too afraid of the dark to come down from the forest roof, you will wear two white feathers at the base of your throat, marking you as a coward.
Pukeko, because you were so unwilling to get your feet wet to save your home, you will now reside in the swamp.
Pipiwharauroa, because you were too distracted by your nest to think of others, you will never build a nest again, but steal the nests of others.
But Kiwi, because of your great sacrifice, you will become the symbol of our nation, and the most beloved bird of all."