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The Coming of the Maori



Two forms of dredging apparatus were invented locally by a section of the Arawa tribe to dredge up food from the bottom of Lake Rotorua. They consisted of a dredge net and a dredge rake.

The dredge net (paepae) which I saw in use was formed of a lower beam (paepae) about 10 feet long with an arched rod of manuka fixed to each end of the beam with five upright rods inserted in the beam and thed above to the arched rod. The middle rod was 2 feet 8½ inches high. A long bag net was fitted to the frame and diminished to a point about 11 feet away. Stone sinkers were tied to the lower end of the two outer rods on each side and also to the tail of the net. The net was lowered to the bottom of the lake from a canoe and hauled along the bottom to catch freshwater crayfish. Details have been described by me elsewhere (87, p. 442).

The dredge rake (kapu or mangakino) consisted of a wooden frame with wooden teeth (tara) lashed to the lower beam of the frame. A bag net was attached to the back of the frame and a long wooden handle (rou) fixed to the upper part of the frame and median cross bar. The rake was lowered from a canoe on to the shoals with beds of the freshwater clam termed kakahi(Unio sp.). The canoe was allowed to drift over the shoal with the wind and the expert wielded the handle of the rake in such a way as to dredge up the shell fish which fell back into the bag net (87, p. 445).