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Dr Werner Kissling: A Retrospective

Harakeke, Aotearoa New Zealand



'POL, NZ. North Island. Flax Stalks at Anawhata.


From ethno/botanical records in 1939. Native flax, harakeke, (variety of Phormium, Lily family) grows wild, characteristic of wet places, right up into the mountains and was cultivated (and protected from theft by incantations) for a wide range of use for its straight frond leaves.'


Dr Kissling's note, 1978


Harakeke is used in Māori weaving. The leaves are cut and the green outside is stripped from them using a mussel shell. The fibres inside are then rolled into threads called muka.


Research note, 2019

Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
PP/KISSLING COLLECTION, Retrospective 1978/36
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council