Māori Plant Use

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Reference Details 

BEST Elsdon 1903. Notes on the art of war as conducted by the Māori in New Zealand. Journal of the Polynesian Society 12 : Part V 32-50, Part VI 65-84, Part VIII 193-217
TITLE: Notes on the art of war as conducted by the Māori in New Zealand
PUBLISHER: Journal of the Polynesian Society.
TRADITIONS: p.48 Karakia recited over buried kūmara in middle of track to weaken the pursuing enemy. 'Whatu māhunu, whatu marara, puehu nuku, puehu rangi' When the war party steps over the place, they will break and fly, through the power of the spell (Ngāti Porou version) In Whites's `Ancient History of the Māori' vol iii, p.71. p.65 etc Ceremonies to send war party into battle using karamū and flax. 'Ka kiia he kuwha tangata taua harakeke' The flax is said to represent the legs of man. p.151 Lifting the tapu. As part of rituals, 'hurihanga takapau' performed. The tohunga kindles a fire called horokaha, another termed ahi ruahine. Roasts single kūmara at each. Priest eats kūmara of horokaka, gives that of ahi ruahine to selected woman who eats the cooked food. p.194 Dried heads of enemy chiefs sometimes placed on border of kūmara cultivations to benefit crop.
LINK WORDS: Ipomoea, kūmara tradition, Coprosma, Phormium, kūmara rituals