This 19th-century drawing shows a group of Māori men catching piharau (lamprey eels) in a stream. Eels were a very important protein source for Māori, especially after the extinction of moa. Large numbers were caught in season, preserved and distributed to the entire community. The routine of this intensive food-gathering activity was governed by the seasons, and often involved much larger numbers of people than the small group shown here.
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University of Waikato
Reference: Illustrations prepared for White's ancient history of the Maori. Wellington: Government Printer, 1897, p. 96
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