Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Zea mays. Corn, maize. Kānga. Main reference.
FAMILY: Poaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Zea mays Introduced
MĀORI NAME: KĀNGA, kōpakipaki, paratē
Fermented corn: kānga pirau kānga kōpiro
Stem (maize, raupo): tō
COMMON NAME: corn; Indian corn; maize
MEDICINAL: See Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
FOOD: Fermented corn (maize) is a Māori delicacy.
Grain packed in tōī (baskets made of split supplejack), lined and covered with ferns. Immersed for a long period until decomposed. ''A long immersion resulted in a decomposed mess called kānga pirau, the appalling stench of which was enough to 'stagger humanity', as Paul said, but it was highly appreciated by the Maori. Angas [during travels in the 1850s] speaks of seeing children eat a cake of decomposed shark and putrid maize... (Best 1942)
Kanga kopuwai is a Northland term for maize soaked in water, before eating. Kanga pirau and kanga wai for fermented corn (''rotten'' corn) are used among Māori of Central North Island and Bay of Plenty (Yen 1959)