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Kohuwai. Green filamentous algae such as  Zynema spp., Spirogyra spp.

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Zynema spp.

Spirogyra spp.

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Williams dictionary and Johannes Andersen give the name Tyndaridea [now Zygnema] anomala for kohuwai.

A water plant, an aquatic moss (Best 1907, 1908).

"Kohuwai, also known as kohuai, said one of my informants, is a green sort of weed or moss in the bottoms of streams, and a small creek between Waikawa and Chasland's is called Wai-kohuwai because of its bed being so covered with this moss." (Beattie 1920)

An informant of Beattie, said the lamprey [kanakana] that swarm up certain rivers feed on kohuwai, a green mossy growth which adheres to the rocks.

In a newspaper article Elsdon Best discusses a myth about the forming of Lake Waikaremoana: "... in part, Hau-mapuhia lies there where he emerged, transformed into stone. His head is down-hill and his legs extend up the hill-side, and the Lake waters, rushing forth from the hill, pass through his body to form below the Waikare-taheke river. Also you may see his hair floating and waving in the foaming waters; this hair is in the form of what we call kohuwai(a water plant)."  In Poverty Bay Herald, 31 October 1904, 4.

Kohuwai is also given as a name for certain marine algae.

The next two [netting] methods depend on season, when the larger rocks lying about near the shore are covered with the algae upon which the kehe [granite trout] feeds... The best time is March, when the kohuwai seaweed is plentiful. In the daytime the favoured rocks can be noted, as the seaweed shows signs of being nibbled by the fish. (Te Rangi Hiroa 1926)

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28 May 2007
2 July 2020
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