Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 23, 1890
– 616 –

His remarks were confined to the consideration of the means of subsistence that the Maoris possessed prior to the advent of Europeans; and he pointed out that it was a mistake to suppose that in ordinary circumstances they had a deficiency of food. At the same time, food was not so easily obtained as by the more fortunate inhabitants of the Polynesian islands. Their cultivations required great care and labour to produce an abundant crop, and, although the forests were full of edible rats, birds, &c., the hunters often had to exercise considerable patience in obtaining their spoil; while their supply of fish was dependent to a large extent on the seasons and weather. The lecturer described in detail the different kinds of food used by the Maoris, and quoted the best authorities to show how they were obtained and prepared. The mode of cultivating the kumara and taro was also fully explained, and some account was given of the many curious legends connected with those plants.