W hat I believe to be genuine and authentic the collected publications of William Colenso

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Appendix A.

A List of the different Varieties of small Kumara formerly cultivated by the Maoris:—

1. Varieties in the northern districts, namely—Bay of Islands, Hokianga, and Kaitaia:—

(1.) White skin varieties, having white or whitish flesh—
* Toroamahoe.
* Monenehu.
Mengerangi, with grooved sides.
Torowhenua, uniform small size, peculiar.
Pane, mealy dumpy sort.

(2.) White skin varieties, having slightly reddish flesh—

Hitara, a prized variety.

(3.) Red skin and flesh—

Koreherehe, grooved sides, prized sort.
Taurapunga, a mealy sort.
*Parakaraka. [35]

(4.) Dark purple skin and flesh—

* Pokerekaahu, very dark throughout.
* Anurangi.
Poranga, dark claret flesh.
Kaikaka, very dark throughout.

2. Varieties in Hawke’s Bay and on the East Coast (exclusive of those, also cultivated by them, already entered in List No. 1, and marked with an *):—


I do not consider the foregoing lists as being anything like exhaustive (indeed I have the names of a few others from the north which I purposely keep back); many of them I have both seen and eaten, 40 years ago and more. My two lists I have obtained from six sources, three north and three east coast, extending over 35 years, and I have been surprised at their great general uniformity. In all, the sort called parakaraka is said to be “the oldest variety”; the lists from the East Coast did not clearly specify the differences.

Appendix B.

“I suspected the cause,” says Mr. Knight, “of the constant failure of the early potato to produce seeds, to be the preternaturally early formation of [36] the tuberous root, which draws off for its support that portion of the sap which in other varieties of the same species affords nutriment to the blossoms and seeds, and experiment soon satisfied me that my conjectures were perfectly well founded. I took several methods of placing the plants to grow in such a situation as enabled me readily to prevent the formation of the tuberous roots, but the following appeared the best. Having fixed strong stakes in the ground I raised the mould in a heap round the bases of them, and in contact with the stakes: on their south sides I planted the potatoes from which I wished to obtain seeds. When the young plants were about four inches high, they were secured to the stakes with shreds and nails, and the mould was then washed away by a strong current of water from the bases of their stems, so that the fibrous roots only of the plants entered into the soil. The fibrous roots of this plant are perfectly distinct organs from the runners which give existence, and subsequently convey nutriment, to the tuberous roots; and as the runners spring from the stems only of the plants, which are, in the mode of culture I have described, placed wholly out of the soil, the formation of tuberous roots is easily prevented; and whenever this is done numerous blossoms will soon appear, and almost every blossom will afford fruit and seed.”

Appendix C.

A List of the different Varieties of Taro formerly cultivated by the Maoris.

1. The varieties grown and used in the North, namely—Bay of Islands Hokianga, and Kaitaia Districts.

The best kinds were the three following:
*1. Pongo,
*2. Turitaka. Varieties having a pleasing scent.
3. Potango, a very superior sort, greatly prized.

Those three were eaten as popoa—sacred food used by the priests, (tohungas) on the death of chiefs; and also on the Iriiringa—the ceremonially naming of a newly-born chief’s child; pigeons were eaten with them as a relish.

4. Awanga, a very abundant grower and therefore prized.
*5. Wairuaarangi, a sweet, grateful kind, having a flesh of a peculiar pink tinge.
6. Ngongoro, a very large and prized sort.

Those three were used for noble or welcome visitors; one of this last variety, ngongoro, was said to have been sufficient for a man, but if a very great eater he might be able to manage two, hence, perhaps, its name, ngongoro—wonderful! from Onomatopaeia, that being the name of the strong nasal sound usually emitted on expressing great astonishment at anything. [37]

7. Mamaku,
8. Haukopa. Good kinds, usually eaten at the hahunga—exhuming and scraping the bones of a chief.
9. Tokotokohau, a large kind used at feasts.
*10. Kinakina, used by workmen when working together in large bodies.

2. The varieties formerly grown here at Hawke’s Bay and on the East Coast, south of the East Cape, not included in the above list:—

11. Paeangaanga.
12. Kohuorangi.
13. Patai.
14. Matatiti.
15. Takatakaapo.
16. Tautaumahei.
17. Koareare, a white-fleshed sort.
18. Kakatarahaere, a dark-fleshed sort.
19. Upokotiketike.

Also Nos. 1, 2, 5, and 10, marked with a star.

Besides those they had here two others, which I have never seen; they were peculiar (if they really were taros, which, from their names, I doubt).

20. Uhikoko (“he taro noa, otira he pai ano”—a common taro of the usual kind, but a very good one).

21. Uhiraurenga.

Of this last it is said, “he taro tapu tenei, he atua, whanatu rawa te ringa ki te hopu kia taona hei kai, rere atu ana.” = This was a sacred taro (or one used only for tabooed purposes); it was a demon (or something extraordinary), when the hand of the taker was stretched forth to lay hold of it, that it might be baked for food, lo! it suddenly removed away.

Several of those taros I have both seen and eaten.

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