Māori Plant Use

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Reference Details 

COLENSO William 1892. Vestiges: Reminiscences, memorabilia of works, deeds and sayings of the ancient Māoris. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 24 : 445 -467
TITLE: Vestiges: Reminiscences, memorabilia of works, deeds and sayings of the ancient Māoris
PUBLISHER: Transactions of the New Zealand Institute.
NOTES: Some observations on Māori life and customs made by Colenso during his early visits to Māori villages. 1) on mako shark - desired for teeth. 2) process of preparing black pigment for tattooing described 3) manufacture of long spears from rimu and tawa 4) use of hair from dog tails. 5) Pets (birds) 6) on fine smelling sense, taste, of Māori. Use of plants for perfume. 7) house decorations - often named after natural form they resembled. 8) on preparation of animal food 9) on textiles - use of Phormium, other plants for weaving, plaiting of garments and cords. '...the cross-threads in weaving were always of a different sort of flax - the weft and the woof of these mats were not both taken from the same kind of flax.' '...the different kinds or varieties of the flax would be used for making different sorts of threads, cords, and ropes, some of the varieties of flax enduring much greater strain when scraped and spun into lines than others; and of such their deep-sea fishing-lines were made.' (p. 466). Description of making follows. Quotes Cook on the huge size of the seine nets made from Phormium.
LINK WORDS: kahikatea, tawa, Collospermum, tattoo, Agathis, harakeke, fern, Arthropodium, Beilschmiedia, dyes, food, Dacrycarpus, rengarenga, scent, Broussonetia, domestic, Phormium, kauri, Astelia, aute, hunting, rimu, Dacrydium, flax, fibre plants, kiekie, Freycinetia, ornamental, Cordyline