Man using a kō, Aotearoa New Zealand

  'POL. NZ. North Island, Bay of Islands. Use of Digging Stick, Ko.   The Ko is a wooden digging stick with a detachable foot-rest to force the implement in to 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.   The mode of progressing 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.'   Dr Kissling's Note, 1978   These photographs show a Māori man from the Ngāpuhi iwi using a kō. He is wearing a kākahu (cloak).   Research note, 2019
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Dr Werner Kissling
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Accession number :
PP/KISSLING COLLECTION, Retrospective 1978/27-28
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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