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Eleocharis sphacelata. Kuta. Paopao.

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Fishing and Hunting
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KUTAPAOPAOkutakutakūwāwāwāwā (names all recorded by Best); ngāwhā (Andersen 1926

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Used for plaiting mats, kete, hats, some garments.

Potae taua - mourning caps or fillets (without a crown). Worn by widows in former times. Stalks peeled off the outer covering, leaving the white inner part, which was then made into a fillet. Potae taua sometimes dyed (Best 1898).

Description of maro kuta, (`apron") worn by girls, in Best 1898.

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Stems occasionally used to make sails ( Best 1925).

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Coarse floor mats made (Best 1898)

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In Wairarapa, kites framework sometimes covered with kuta leaves ( Best 1925)

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In the early literature, it is not always clear whether the sedge referred to is E. sphacelata or Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani. Both were used. E. sphacelata is used for softer items - hats, maro, delicate kete, sleeping mats. S. tabernaemontani is harder-wearing.

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28 May 2007
4 July 2020
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