Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Autobiography of a Maori

Life at Te Aute

Life at Te Aute

The boys did all the work in the college except laundry work and scrubbing the bedrooms, this being done by maids. Washing the sheets and clothes was also done by the boys under the supervision of the matron. The most coveted position was that of assistant masters' waiter, for this flunkey was permited to eat what was left on the table. The college meals were not appetising, and I often yearned for the varied meals of home. The food was, however, wholesome, and the boys certainly thrived on it.

During the football season boys became very hungry and enjoyed their simple meal of tea and bread and butter. If a boy wanted more pieces of bread he indicated the number by the fingers he put up. It was by no means unusual to see a boy with all his fingers up, and there would often be a competition to see who could eat the most pieces of bread at one meal.

As a rule, boys who came from a distance and who could not afford to go home for the winter holidays, stayed at the college, but those who, like myself, had friends in Hawke's Bay, stayed with them. It was during the winter holidays that we had meals like the ones I generally had at home. There is nothing a Maori likes better than puha1 with pork, fish of any kind, and page 78shell-fish of all kinds. Even Maoris who attended the university never lost their taste for the simple foods of their fathers.

1 Sowthistle.