Māori Plant Use

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Reference Details 

 
WILLIAMS W. L. (Archdeacon) 1894. Names of kumara (Ipomoea batatas) cultivated in New Zealand before the arrival of Europeans.. Journal of the Polynesian Society 3: 144
AUTHOR: WILLIAMS W. L. (Archdeacon)
PUBLICATION DATE: 1894
TITLE: Names of kumara (Ipomoea batatas) cultivated in New Zealand before the arrival of Europeans.
PUBLISHER: Journal of the Polynesian Society.
NOTES: Kūmara cultivars. Williams lists the names of 25 cultivars obtained in the East Cape district, though he says it is probable that the list does not represent 25 really distinct varieties. See list.

The tradition on the East Cape is that the different varieties of kūmara were fetched from Hawaiki in the canoe Horouta under the direction of Kahukura. With them came the taro, the hue and the uwhikāho (yam). Williams notes that the yam has disappeared from the district and wonders whether it is still to be found in the northern part of New Zealand. The editors (Journal of the Polynesian Society) state: ''We do not think the yam is to be found in the north part of New Zealand, but it is somewhat remarkable that the winter potato, which only grows there, is called by the Māoris uwhi, the Polynesians' name for the yam. There are several of the old Māoris in this country who persist in saying that they had a potato before the arrival of the Europeans''
LINK WORDS: Ipomoea, uwhi, potato, Dioscorea, uhi, Solanum, traditions
RECORD NUMBER: 2433