This woman is holding the two most important gum digging tools – the spear and the Skelton spade. The spear was used to probe the ground for kauri gum, and an experienced digger could tell when they hit gum, rather than wood. The price of getting it wrong, and finding just a buried stump, might be half a day’s digging.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
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.