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Best Elsdon 1925. Maori Agriculture. Dominion Museum Bulletin 9

Reference document

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A key reference. Describes Māori methods of agriculture. Origins, traditions, cultivation, harvesting, processing, storage of cultivated foods described in detail. Bibliography.

Pages 45-98: Agricultural implements. Names, descriptions, uses.

Pages 99-227: The kūmara (Ipomoea batatas) or sweet potato and its cultivation. Most important cultivated food plant. Best discusses traditions, varieties, cultivation techniques, harvesting, storage. Very detailed. Reviews accounts of earlier authors.

Pages 228-232: The yam.

Pages 233-243: The taro. Includes list of variety names.

Pages 244-255: The hue or gourd.

Pages 256-272: "The genus Cordyline". Best summarises accounts of cultivation and preparation of Cordyline species in New Zealand. Included are sections on C. terminalis (tī pore); an unidentified Cordyline sp., tī para or tī kōwhiti or tī tawhiti; mauku or C. pumilio; C. australis or tī kōuka; notes on other species. A list of Māori names for all species is given.

Pages 273-286: Miscellaneous notes on other foods - "native" turnips (pora, kōrau, kawakawa), karaka, aute, flax, Solanum - and the introduction of European food plants (potato and wheat).

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Maori Agriculture

Best Elsdon
Dominion Museum Bulletin

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12 June 2007
5 April 2011
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