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Lagenaria siceraria. Hue. Gourd.

Name document

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Lagenaria vulgaris

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Cultivated varieties: ikaroa, kōkakowaremānuka-roaupoko-taupo  whakahau-matuawhare-hinu  (names collected in Bay of Plenty district - Ngati Awa and Tuhoe); kiatopuautatara (names collected in Wairarapa district); pahaua,  paretarakihi, rorerorewhāngai-rangatira (names collected by John White); kōkī - small variety introduced by Europeans.

Names recorded in Best 1902, 1907, 1925 

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In Best 1925:

Paretarakihi said to be large form. Mānuka-roa was the kind used in making bowls (oko), for which purpose they were cut in half. Upoko-taupo used for large vessels styled tahā huahua. Kiato used for water vessels (tahā wai). Tatara and puau used as calabashes containing preserved foods. Tatara grew to a larger size than kiato. The name kowenewene "also applied to some insect, probably the hihue or hawk moth that frequents its white flowers."

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"Prized and wholesome vegetable food.." (Colenso 1868a, 1868b, 1880).

"When young, it is a delicious vegetable, sweet, juicy, and extremely savoury" (Taylor 1855). Planting process described in Best 1902.

Highly regarded because the plant bore plentifully all summer. Eaten when young. Cooked in hangi. Cooked and eaten whole, or cut in two, without peeling. Young seeds left in. The seeds were placed in fern (bracken) fronds and put in a basket which was tied to a stake in running water. Left for 2-3 days, to help the seed grow quickly. Small gourds cut in two and used for serving small fish and liquid food. (Makereti 1938)

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Used for containers, calabashes (water, oils, cooked animal food, etc.) (Colenso 1868a, 1868b, 1880 ; Taylor 1855).

Bowls from gourd called oko or ripa; very large ones used for preserved food called taha ( Best 1902).

For calabashes, hue left till ripe, skin hard, dried by sun or fire. Hole made close to stalk end, seeds and flesh scooped out with a piece of wood.

A large taha could hold many gallons of water. Same one used by families for several generations. The taha would then be given a name. (Makereti 1938)

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Some traditions on bringing of hue to New Zealand in Colenso 1881a.

Māori say seed can be procured from entrails of sperm whale (Taylor 1855).

Traditions on origin of hue in Best 1902.

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Dried, matured gourds used as poito, floats; fastened to child learning to swim. Small sized gourds used to make humming tops. Section on gourd instruments in Best 1925.

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Solander in 1769 recorded Lagenaria vulgaris.."forte culta utensilaria varia e hupis fructo formant incolae"

One of plants brought to New Zealand by Māori. Sections on hue names, description, cultivation, uses in Colenso 1880 and Best 1925.

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28 May 2007
1 July 2020
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