Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Coming of the Maori

Lean-to Shelters

Lean-to Shelters

The houses made by the first settlers, according to Te Matorohanga (81, p. 69), were wharau and he states that the later people from Hawaiki page 114learned how to make similar houses but they varied the name to tawharau. The structure of the wharau is not given in the native text but Percy Smith (81, p. 71) translates the term as "lean-to sheds". The term wharau continued in use as applied to temporary sheds or booths made of branches of trees and it is possible that some of these were of the lean-to type (Fig. 10a). The lean-to type of shelter was made by the Moriori of the Chatham Islands according to Welch who saw them. He is quoted by Skinner (71, p. 74) as follows: "Dwelling places consisting of two poles stuck in the ground, and a crosspiece from one to the other, against which a few branches of trees were placed on a sloping position, with some flax leaves to form a shelter." However, these lean-to structures were temporary shelters, for Welch after saying that these were their only dwelling places, goes on to say that they were used for a day or two as they wandered from place to place, wherever food was most abundant.

The later arrivals in New Zealand would require no instruction from the first settlers to make a type of wharau but it is probable that they did obtain information as to thatching material if they made them as temporary shelters immediately after arrival.