Rauwaru - traditional root crops of Aotearoa

Ethnobotany 2
Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 14:00
, Nick - Massey University

Anthropologists refer to the development of agriculture as the Neolithic Revolution acknowledging its contribution to the acceleration of man and the development of large and complex societies.  Maori as a Pacific people who migrated to Aotearoa/New Zealand acknowledge agriculture through their celestial origins and the role of Papatuanuku their Earth Mother to sustain her offspring. Prior to the 18th century arrival of Europeans, Māori were subsistence horticulturists’ dependant on the success of crops and forage plants for matters of survival, hospitality and health.  Critical to this was the availability of a range of root crops, sustained and held within the soil.  Rauwaru is the Maori term for these crops and the suite of available rauwaru in a relatively cold and temperate climate was broad but is now almost forgotten.  This project sought to gather traditional knowledge aligned to root crops, their management, utility and relationship to society generally.