Transmitting Mātauraka Māori technologies into horticultural reality. Growing kūmara in Te Waipounamu, 2019.

  • Matiu Payne Kāti Huikai, Chair - Te Rūnanga o Koukourarata
Keywords: Waipounamu, kumara, kūmara, Tikao, Manu, Tiria, pohatu, mahika, kai, kauru, wakawaka, Wohlers, Ruapuke

Abstract

Kūmara (sweet potato Ipomoea battatas) and Kauru (a sweet food made from cooked Tī trunks (Cordyline sp.) were symbiotic in their cultivation and preparation practises. In 1870, Hone Taare Tikao explained in great detail preparation instructions for kauru and kūmara. Tikao’s documented knowledge when complemented with pūrākau (legends) from Pōhatu pā (Flea Bay) and a waiata (traditional song) recounts kūmara cultivation technologies specific to Te Waipounamu (the South Island of New Zealand).

References

Beattie, H. (1939) Tikao Talks: Traditions and Tales told by Teone Taare Tikao to Herries Beattie. A.H. and A.W. Reed, Wellington. p.6.

Food-gathering customs of the South Island tribes (1870) MS-Papers-1187-208. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Journal Articles

Williams, Jim (2010). Mahika kai: The husbanding of consumables by Māori in precontact Te Waipounamu. The Journal of the Polynesian Society.

Wohlers, Johannes (1874) Transactions of the New Zealand Institute.
Published
2020-10-05