In this 1850s painting of Onehunga beach, Māori unload freight from canoes, load a bullock-drawn dray, and prepare to move off to market. Māori supplied much of Auckland’s food in the 1850s. Artist William Strutt described the scene in his journal as ‘animated with a fleet of canoes, just arrived with all sorts of produce for the Auckland market … beached to the lively song of the natives, their contents landed … the kits (native baskets) were shouldered, or strapped to the backs of the bearers, with the strong and handy slings, each generally as well carrying a huge cum cum or pumpkin, while not a few drove fat pigs tied by one leg’.
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