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Williams H. W. 1896. The Maori whare: notes on the construction of a Māori house. Journal of the Polynesian Society 5: 145-154

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Information mainly derived from Rev. Mohi Turei, Waiapu, (Ngāti Porou). A detailed description of the processes involved. See also Ngata 1898.

Some plant notes: Screens to fill the spaces between the timber walls made of toetoe reeds, covered with bundles of raupō bound with flax. Raupō cut in March. Ponga used to surround and protect timber posts in the ground, being almost imperishable. Toetoe and raupō also used to cover the roof, with a top thatching of toetoe. "Toetoe-rākau, a variety found in the bush, was more durable than toetoe-kākaho, or upoko-tangata" (Upoko-tangata is Cyperus ustulatus). Ridging sometimes protected further with ponga fronds. Vines (rātā vines, or in the north, mangemange Lygodium articulatum ) were used as lattice work across the roof to protect it from wind. In smaller houses, mānuka was used. Tukutuku panels that filled the spaces between the wall pillars inside the house were made from reeds, with kiekie (kept white or dyed black) and occasionally pīngao. Flax used where these not procurable. Floor strewn with rushes and ferns. Use of karamū in ceremony to lift tapu from a new house.

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The Maori whare: notes on the construction of a Māori house

Williams H. W.
Journal of the Polynesian Society

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12 June 2007
20 July 2020
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