Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

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Entelea arborescens. Whau.
FAMILY: Tiliaceae Linden family
BOTANICAL NAME: Entelea arborescens
MĀORI NAME: WHAU, hauama, houama, whauama (all in Williams 1971)
COMMON NAME: corkwood; New Zealand cork tree; paper mulberry name used by some settlers
FIBRE: A Tahitian with Nicholson's party said the tree was common in Tahiti and used for cloth manufacture (Mistaken for Broussonetia - Ed. )
DYES: Bark and wood used as a dye (Reed and Brett's 1874)
FISHING AND HUNTING: Very light bark used as floats and buoys (Taylor 1855; Colenso 1869a)
Used for floats for nets, boat fenders (Kirk 1889).
Wood used for floats. Long fibres from trunk used to make 'their strongest fishing lines'. Ngati-Porou used seasoned whau timber to make mokihi, a raft used for coastal fishing (e.g. crayfishing). Logs pinned together with mānuka, and lashed with supplejack. When outrigger attached, craft called amatiatia (Tuta Nihoniho, in Best 1925)
ENVIRONMENT: Haase 1990 suggests that fast-growing seral trees like whau may be of interest to the pulp and paper industry and for recultivation of mining sites, etc.
PASTIME: Best 1925: Pieces of wood used in stick games (White quoted) Used for darts (teka). Poi occasionally made from light wood, either houama or maki (Tuta Nihoniho, Ngāti-Porou).
TRADITIONS: Tradition on origin in Colenso 1882a.
See fable concerning whau and aute in Taylor 1855.
LINK WORDS: Broussonetia