Copy a link to this page Cite this record

Kūmara cultivar. Toroamahoe (1)

Name document

Click to collapse Description Info

Kūmara cultivar. Following description is taken directly from Enid Tapsell 1947: 328-329.

"Oldest known species; claimed by Arawa to be the original variety brought to Aotearoa by Whaka-o-te-Rangi. ... Small, dry tuber with few "eyes"; could be eaten raw, dried or steam-cooked. Hard to cultivate owing to care needed in storage during winter and difficulty in handling when planting out. Taroamahoe, pehu and rekamaroa were all prepared in the same way ... by dividing the tuber into three pieces after the young shoots were hardened off enough to move. Care had to be taken that they were not dislodged from their "eye" sockets in the process of transferring from hot-bed to plot. ... shallow pits previously warmed by fire were hollowed out, lined with dry fern, then layers of tubers, more fern, and finally earth and left three weeks or more. Then the soil was carefully loosened, and tubers divided into two or three pieces before carrying to planting grounds." "My informant states the name of the first kūmara planted at Whangaparoa was taroamahoe also, and it was grown until quite recently at Maraenui and Te Kaha, and he thought it was also grown until recently at Orekei pā, Auckland. From other sources I learned that an original variety was still being planted in the pā as late as 1942, but I have not been able to get confirmation as to its name. From the description and size it might have been a hutihuti or a rekamaroa which appears to be a later introduced variety, although still being claimed as an original."

The leaf of the taroamahoe is drawn from memory and the root is also illustrated.

In Berridge 1913: 415 it is listed (Taromahoe) among the varieties grown by tuber by "an old Māori" informant. Described by him as being similar to Rekamāroa and Utiuti (Hutihuti), "but the leaves are not so deeply lobed" (ibid: 418).

Click to collapse Traditions Info

"Tradition says that Whaka-o-te-rangi planted her little kit of salvaged kumara which had been nearly lost in the "Throat-of-Parata" on the perilous voyage to Aotearoa in the Arawa Canoe, on a section still known to local inhabitants as Whakatongia. It is a little sunny spot lying to the morning sun, near the site of Tania-te-Kapua"s first home. Local tradition says the name of this original kumara was taroamahoe but hutihuti is claimed to be an original of the Arawa Canoe also." (Tapsell 1947: 325-328)

Click to collapse Metadata Info

28 May 2007
13 June 2020
Click to go back to the top of the page