Karakia are prayers or incantations. They are generally used to ensure a favourable outcome to important events and undertakings. Karakia, in their true essence, are ritual chants invoking spiritual guidance and protection.
For Mahi Raranga we use them when harvesting (to give thanks for the gifts we are about to receive, e.g. the plant material) but also to start and finish our weaving day and when we break for meals.
I do not claim to be an expert on these (far from it!) and I do know that every rohe/region and even every whanau have their own. I would really encourage you to seek guidance for this important part of Mahi Raranga from your own Kuia/Kaumatua or Marae.
Below I am sharing the karakia I learnt when studying Raranga at Unitec. These are more “generic” in their wording and may help you as well if you are just starting out on this exciting journey.