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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.



In the country round Port Marion we noticed some slopes which were cultivated with great care. They only produce, however, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins in small quantities.

The tool they use to till the soil with is a large stick of about 6 ft. in length. The thick end is pointed; 3 ft. above this is a piece of wood projecting, upon which they press the foot, so that they use it in the same way that we do a spade. They also cultivate a species of vacoua,§ which grows in the marshy places. Its leaf is longer and straighter than that of our colonies. I consider

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it much superior. The New-Zealanders only use it after having macerated it as we do our hemp, and dressed it with shells.