Before a tourist industry developed around the thermal attractions of the Rotorua area, its hot pools were an important resource for the people of Te Arawa. They washed clothes, bathed, and cooked food in them. They also used areas where the earth was warmed for growing kūmara (sweet potato), and collected kōkōwai (ochre) for colouring their carvings red. This photograph of a Māori woman beside the Waikite Geyser at Whakarewarewa was taken about 1910.
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