Story: Kauri gum and gum digging

Kauri gum curio (3rd of 4)

Kauri gum curio

A spider has been embedded in some kauri gum to make this novelty. By melting gum and pouring it into moulds, gum diggers could enclose insects and other items such as photos. Sitting in their isolated huts, some diggers progressed from scraping gum to carving it and making curios by the light of candles or kerosene. Naturally trapped plants, insects and small animals were also occasionally found in pieces of gum.

Using this item

The Kauri Museum, Matakohe

Permission must be obtained from The Kauri Museum before this image is stored, reproduced, or altered in any form for any purpose.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Kauri gum and gum digging - Origin and early uses', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 11 August 2022)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 24 Sep 2007