Pōhā with tītī (muttonbird) placed inside blades of kelp
Botany Department, University of Otago
To store and preserve tītī (muttonbird), Southern Māori turned to local natural resources. The birds (Puffinus griseus) are placed inside blades of kelp (seaweeds, belonging to the brown algae class Phaeophyceae), the air is removed (a sort of vacuum packing), and then the kelp is protected with a covering of bark from the totara tree. This all forms a pōhā. Finally, a small woven basket is created to provide support to the bottom of the pōhā. This replica was hand-crafted by Graham Metzger, a respected kaumātua (elder) from Awarua Rūnaka. It was gifted to Professor Kath Dickinson, now Head of Botany, in 2009.
Graham Metzger, “Pōhā with tītī (muttonbird) placed inside blades of kelp,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed June 7, 2023, https://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/8728.