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Collectors & Explorers

Dr Werner Kissling

Two pictures of man using a digging stick, North Island, New Zealand

"The Ko is a wooden digging stick with a detachable foot-rest to force the implement into the ground. It was in the preparation of a field for planting sweet potatoes (kumara) that this simple digging stick was most useful. As a rule a few men were working together in a row, going through the same actions and raising, to some extent, loose soil in patches or little mounds, “tupuke” ready for planting the Kumara. Progress through the plantation may vary according to the place and tribal custom but the method of forming little mounds of loosened soil and not to break up the whole field was followed everywhere. The soil is not turned over, the Ko being used merely as a lever for loosening it, of. Photo 5."
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council