Monday, June 7, 2010

Ancient trees mark the way in Christchurch, NZ

Tī Kōuka, a symbol for our city

Imagine a distant past where the mist and fog shrouded flatlands, spreading out towards the sea, rich with bird and water life.
There were few landmarks emerging from the mists of what was then essentially swampland. If the hills were obscured by weather there was no way of knowing where you were. That is if it were not for the tī kōuka (cabbage trees) that were carefully planted in significant places to mark out routes across the land like green spiky beacons.
Tī kōuka were prized trees for the Māori of Te Wai Pounamu. Aside from their use as navigational markers, they provided the favoured fibre for fishing due to superior strength and the kōuru or new shoots were an important source of protein in a land where kūmara was difficult if not impossible to grow. Read more here on the Christchurch Library site
Post a Comment