Kate Souness’ glittering range of paua shell jewellery catches the eye of many a visitor to our Museum shop and speaks loudly of the sea – an environment for which Kate shares an intimate connection. She has been involved in kaupapa waka for 22 years, and participated in the 2012/13 Waka Tapu voyage as a crew member on Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, travelling the second leg of the Rapanui to Tahiti expedition, as well as a 2014/15 environment awareness-raising voyage on the Hokulea (Hawaiian deep sea going waka) as a crew member on the ‘Malama Honua’. In fact, Kate is so driven by her connection to the sea she first began making jewellery in 2002 to support her outrigger canoe racing in Hawaii, collecting shells from the beach after training.
Originally from Rangiora in the South Island (with Maori affiliations to Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha and Ngā Puhi) a return home to New Zealand a few years ago took Kate’s art to a new level as a part-time business, originally conducted from Raglan in the North Island and now from sunny Nelson. She also works as a Māori language teacher and is on her own learning journey in the area of waka ama, waka hourua and traditional navigation.
This gorgeous paua necklace is simple and stylish, and a quality piece to pass down through the generations.