Thursday, November 12, 2009
Like the kawakawa and puriri trees, the tiny, low-growing kidney fern was often worn by Maori in mourning. In fact you'll still often see woman wearing wreaths of greenery on their heads during tangi (funerals). In a much broader sense, ferns have always been important to Maori - their leaves provided early bedding, and the roots of the Aruhe or bracken fern was commonly eaten after they had been pounded and cooked. And of course the koru - the unfurling fern frond - has always been a recurring design element in Maori carving and more recently in Maori art and design.