This painting by Augustus Earle shows a village in either the Hokianga or Bay of Islands around 1828. Around each of the three cooking fires a group is crushing aruhe (fern root) with mallets, and chewing the roasted roots. Fern root was not very nutritious and it required lengthy preparation to make it palatable, but it was widely available throughout the year. Cooking scenes such as this would have been repeated throughout the country every evening.
Using this item
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.