Aruhe, the rhizome of the bracken fern, needed careful crushing before it became edible. This was a constant activity in many Māori communities before European starchy foods were widely available. This 1842 lithograph shows Pipitea Pā in Wellington. The artist notes that, 'The Maori to the right is bruising the roots of the common fern for food which they like.' In the whare behind him, a woman cooks on a small fire.
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Alexander Turnbull Library
Hand-coloured lithograph by William Mein Smith
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
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