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Melicytus ramiflorus. Māhoe. Whitey wood.

Name document
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Click to collapse Māori names Info

MĀHOEhinahina, moeahu (all in Wiiliams 1971); Buchanan 1869 and Anderson 1954 give hinahina as a South Island term; inainainihina  (Chatham Islands - Beever 1991

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Click to collapse Food Info

Foliage eaten by cattle, horses (Kirk, in Taylor 1870 ; Kirk 1889 ; Buchanan 1868)

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Ashes of Cordyceps robertsii sometimes mixed with the black juice of māhoe berry for tattooing (Colenso 1868a).

Click to collapse Domestic Info

Charcoal used for gunpowder (Kirk 1889).

In fire lighting by friction, used as the base wood (Taylor 1870).

Among museum artefacts he tested Wallace 1989 found a maul made of māhoe. The wood is very light but was found waterlogged in a swamp. It may have been kept wet to increase its density and thereby its usefulness (p.226).

Click to collapse Medicinal Info

Inner bark scraped, used to cover diseased skin. Juice expressed over sores (Te Rangi Hiroa 1910).

Put about a pint of water into a billy. Add the leaves - a handful. Boil for about 20 minutes. Strain, bottle, cork, label. For rheumatism, bathe the affected part twice a day. For scabies ("hakihaki"), boil the leaves and apply. Bandage. (P. Smith 1940).

Inner bark of māhoe frayed and used as a pack for burns (S. Collier 1941).

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Mahoe is reported to contain an opossum toxin (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Chemistry Div. report, 1979, cited in Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987)

Click to collapse Traditions Info

In the North, used ceremonially (with supplejack) for firing bracken, before collecting fernroot (Colenso 1880).

Tradition of Maui searching for trees to put fire into. White uses name hinahina (White 1887; Vol II)

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28 May 2007
1 July 2020
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