Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Left: Freshly caught eel and Right; traditonal Maori Hinaki, both at Waihao Marae, Waimate. Dec. 2008. Ajr
In December, when I was down at Waihao Marae, near the coast just south of Waimate, researching another kai feature for Ngai Tahu’s TE KARAKA magazine, I managed to get this photograph (right) of a traditional Hinaki - or eel pot. These were usually made from mangemange, a climbing vine. The eels would swim into the narrowing ‘tunnel’ of the hinaki and not be able to get out again. Eel – members of the Anguillidae family and known as tuna to Maori – live in streams and lakes and form an important part of traditional Maori diet. The one shown in the left photograph, ended up as part of our lunch – served as a garnish for a very tasty tomato soup.