Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Elaeocarpus hookerianus. Pōkākā
FAMILY: Elaeocarpaceae Oleaster family
BOTANICAL NAME: Elaeocarpus hookerianus
MĀORI NAME: PŌKĀKĀ, hīnau-puka (Best 1899, 1908), whīnau puka, mahimahi (Williams 1971)
MEDICINAL: See Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
DYES: Used, like hīnau, as mordant to make black dye. Process described in Best 1899. (See also White, from ms. in Dominion Museum, quoted in Aston 1918a; Colenso 1869a, 1882b ; Best 1908).
Kiakia [sic] gathered from near Outram and soaked with the bark of pōkākā to dye it (Māori informant in Beattie 1920).
Produces good firm leather (Kirk 1889)
DOMESTIC: ''The women put [pikao] in a waka.. in which kiripokaka (pokaka bark) was steeping. This was to soften the pikao for pleating (whatu).'' (Beattie 1994)
CHEMISTRY: References on tannin content in Cambie 1976. See also Kirk 1889, Aston 1918b.