Travels in New Zealand: With Contributions to the Geography, Geology, Botany, and Natural History of that Country, Volume 2

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John Murray, 1843 - Natural history - 396 pages

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Page 8 - The colour of the New Zealanders is a light clear brown, varying very much in shade; sometimes it is even lighter than that of a native of the south of France: the nose is straight and well shaped, often aquiline, the mouth generally large, and the lips in many cases more developed than those of Europeans; the eyes are dark and full of vivacity and expression; the hair is generally black, and lank or slightly curled ; the teeth are white, even, and regular, and last to old age: the feet and hands...
Page 185 - Pakea (strange rat). On the former they fed very largely in former times; but it has now become so scarce, owing to the extermination carried on against it by the European rat, that I could never obtain one.
Page 114 - Zealand has its proprietor. Sometimes land is given to a strange tribe, either as pay, or from other considerations; but the proprietor reserves certain rights, some of which are what we should term manorial. It was formerly very common that the fat of the native rats (kiore) killed on such lands should be given to the principal proprietor, and in many cases a title to land seems to have been derived from the fact of having killed rats on it...
Page 127 - If blood has been shed, a party sally forth and kill the first person they fall in with, whether an enemy or belonging to their own tribe ; even a brother is sacrificed. If they do not fall in with anybody, the tohunga (that is, the priest) pulls up some grass, throws it into a river, and repeats some incantation. After this ceremony, the killing of a bird, or any living thing that comes in their way, is regarded as sufficient, provided that blood is actually shed. All who participate in such an...
Page 104 - Puai, the head chief of the Waikato, I saw a bust, made by himself, with all the serpentine lines of the moko, or tattooing. I asked him to give it to me; but it was only after much pressing that he parted with it. I had to go to his house to fetch it myself, as none of his tribe could legally touch it; and he licked it all over before he gave it to me, whether to take the " tapu" off, or to make it still more strictly sacred, I do not know.
Page 119 - Dieffenbach was once fortunate enough to witness a portion of this instruction. " I was present at one of the lessons. An old priest was sitting under a tree, and at his feet was a boy, his relative...
Page 32 - In the game of maui they are great proficients. This is a game like that called cat's cradle in Europe, and consists of very complicated and perplexing puzzles with a cord tied together at the ends. It seems to be intimately connected with their ancient traditions, and, in the different figures which the cord is made to assume whilst held on both hands, the outlines of their different varieties of houses, canoes, or figures of men and women are imagined to be represented.
Page 124 - The kumara are planted in regular rows, and the caterpillars of a sphinx which feed in great numbers upon the leaves, are at all times carefully removed. In neatness such a field rivals any in Europe. Every family has its own field, and the produce is its private property." In his essay on the Maori race published in Vol. 1 of the Transactions of the NZ Institute, Mr. Colenso writes as follows on cultivated products: — "A large portion of their time and attention was necessarily given to their...

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