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Smith S. Percy 1907. History and traditions of the Taranaki Coast. Journal of the Polynesian Society 16: 120-219

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History pre 1840 for coast from Wellington City to near Manukau Heads.

p.128 Vast numbers of pigeons caught on miro trees. Miro berries create thirst. Troughs of water placed around with snares made of delicate epidermis of the stem of the mouku (Asplenium bulbiferum), the commonest of ferns. [Smith"s informant almost certainly meant mauku, Cordyline pumilio. Asplenium is far too soft and delicate and would not be used for making snares. Ed.]

p.136 The obstructions of Kupe, Ngā taero o Kupe - bramble, tātarāmoa, matakuru. p.136 Early Māori inhabitants ate nīkau, mamaku, tī, pōhue, karaka, hīnau berries etc. Also fernroot found in open parts. Till about year 1300 [sic] kūmara and taro unknown. Original migrations brought over hue.

p.163 Turi met Kupe on the ocean when Kupe had been to West Coast. Turi asked him about the land "It is not much of a country, I found one part that is good, although all the trees along the coast are curved inland by the strength of the wind. There are two rivers which open to the west and the soil there is "one kakara" - sweet scented soil - which will suit your kūmaras"

p.179 (cf "The Taro" Journal of the Polynesian Society 3, 105). Smith has another note re introduction of taro to Polynesia. "Maru from his place in the sky, saw the taaro growing in the Wairua, a lake in the island of Matatera. He looked down and communicated with Maihi, who lived at Hawaiki, and said to him - Maihi! there grows the sweet food of the taro" Then, turning towards the lake, added - Go and look for it. Maihi went and then brought back the taro to Hawaiki.

p.183 Toi generally called Toi-kai-rākau (woodeater) because in his day neither kūmara nor taro was in New Zealand. Name given by those acquainted with the latter foods.

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History and traditions of the Taranaki Coast

Smith S. Percy
Journal of the Polynesian Society

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12 June 2007
20 July 2020
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