Story: Daily life in Māori communities – te noho a te hapori

Cutting flax, 1919

Cutting flax, 1919

The arrival of European settlers, prepared to trade goods for local resources such as flax fibre, caused profound changes in the routines of Māori life. This group (including a small child), photographed around 1919, are cutting flax from a swamp at Lake Ohia in Northland for sale to a flax mill. The income from this activity would enable them to pay for goods such as the European clothes they are wearing. This type of extractive industry often required Māori to travel long distances from their home communities, and to adopt unfamiliar patterns of work.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Northwood Collection (PA-Group-00027)
Reference: 1/1-006285-G
Photograph by Northwood Brothers

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Daily life in Māori communities – te noho a te hapori - Changes in daily life after European arrival', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/40898/cutting-flax-1919 (accessed 24 September 2019)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 Sep 2013