Māori liken the flax plant to a family, with the central shoot (rito) representing the baby. The leaves protecting the rito are called the parents (awhi rito or mātua). Only the leaves on the outside of the plant, the grandparents (tūpuna), can be cut, or else the plant will be weakened.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Artwork by Bruce Mahalski
This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.