Māori Plant Use

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Reference Details 

KELLY T. 1866. The soil, climate and capabilities of Taranaki. Woon and Atkinson, Taranaki.
TITLE: The soil, climate and capabilities of Taranaki
PUBLISHER: Woon and Atkinson, Taranaki
NOTES: Native flax grows luxuriantly - 'extensively and carefully cultivated (by Māori) in the earlier days of their intercourse with Europeans.' Section on flax: 10 or 12 varieties (taken from Selwyn's list). Notes that superior varieties are not necessarily best for manufacture. 'It is at present difficult to obtain specimens of the best variety, as the cultivation of the flax has of late years been entirely neglected by the natives'. Discusses need for systematic cultivation of flax varieties to ascertain best manufacturing varieties. Gives cultivation requirements. Fibre used for cordage, sacking, mattress stuffing. Kelly says finer varieties would furnish a staple resembling silk and linen combined. Mentions possibility of oil from seed as well as manufacture of fibre and paper pulp. Discusses use of tōī and kiekie for papermaking. Says Māori manufacture a fermented liquour from the kiekie fruit. section on forest trees.
LINK WORDS: flax cultivar, harakeke, flax industry, beverage, timber, alcohol, dyes, food, Phormium, flax fibre, flax byproducts, Freycinetia, Cordyline