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Skinner H. D. 1912. Māori life on the Poutini Coast, together with some traditions of the natives. Journal of the Polynesian Society 21: 141-151

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Fishing and Hunting

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Māori ate roots and berries as they travelled. Mamaku (Cyathea medullaris) and the roots of other ferns were dried in the sun or smoke. Before being eaten they were put into water to soak all night, after which they were roasted in the fire and then pounded between two stones.

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The men wore sandals (paraerae) made of plaited flax, tī or "mountain grass" (tussock). "The time they lasted depended on the materials used, the care taken in manufacture, and the nature of the country traversed. The number of pairs of sandals they carried varied - some took five, some twelve, some twenty. Wherever they stopped they made more, using whatever material was handiest. The best ones were made of dried ti leaves, and if double, would last for five or six days on fair ground. In swampy country they would last for three or four days. Mountain flax on stones would not hold out for more than half a day. Everyone in the party would be employed making them. They also wore socks or leggings made of different materials and plaited carefully and close, or in a hurry, loose, as it suited them. They were generally made of tussock-grass or of the native grasses off the hilltops".

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The Poutini didn"t travel via the rough coast. They went by land, crossing rivers on rafts of wood or raupō. On the occasional sea voyage the canoes used oars and sails of woven flax.

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The Poutini procured fire by friction. The tinder was formed by teasing out dry tī leaves.

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"There was no regular trade in greenstone. If a Poutini native took some to Kaiapohia he might exchange it for mats or for taramea. This was a vegetable scent, which was mixed with oil and rubbed on the body, legs, and feet." Taramea is Aciphylla spp.

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Article composed from material collected in 1897 by G. J. Roberts, Commissioner of Crown lands for Westland. "The volume of MS., in the form chiefly of questions and answers, was given to Mr. Percy Smith, who took from it whatever matter pertained to `The History and Traditions of the Taranaki Coast." The remainder has been incorporated in this paper."Poutini is the name given to the branch of Ngai Tahu that lives on the West Coast of the South Island." Discusses passes used by Māori to travel from West to East.

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Māori life on the Poutini Coast, together with some traditions of the natives

Skinner H. D.
Journal of the Polynesian Society

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12 June 2007
4 September 2009
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