Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 14, October 1970

The late MISS OLGA ADAMS, M.Sc. was once well known in N.Z, as a member of the Committee of the Anthropology and Maori Race Section of the Auckland Institute and for her bulletins and talks. We have permission to use excerpts and the following is from "Maori Medicinal Plants".

Previous to the pakeha era, the Maori considered illness to be the visitation of some evil influence or punishment for some offence against the ritual of religion. The Tohunga or priest appealed to the gods for assistance or exorcise. For instance, if a limb were fractured, it was tied in splints of totara bark, bound with flax or rata vine and the following karakia was addressed to Tiki, the procreator of mortal man.

"O thou Tiki, give me a girdle

As a bandage for this limb,

Come then, bind it up

Tie around it thy cords and make it right.

O thou flesh, be thou straight,

And ye sinews, be ye right,

And ye bones, join ye, join ye!"


The hairy outer skin was scraped off the inner curled frond or Korau, and the slimy tissue was either rubbed on the wound or scraped and applied as a poultice either raw or boiled.

(Used by bushmen and travellers and applied to sores or wounds. Three applications a day. Has been used with effect on saddle sores on horses, poisoned hands, swollen feet and sore eyes).