Excerpt from The Ancient History of the Maori, Vol. 4: His Mythology and Traditions; Tai-Nui
Although it is very probable that the kumara was brought to New Zealand by more than one of the canoes which reached its shores in the days of the early migrations, the honour of its ... first introduction is a point that has been hotly contested by the descendants of each set of immigrants; and when it is remembered that, besides being the article of food most highly prized by the Maori, the seed was selected with the utmost care; that the place where it should be planted was carefully chosen by the priests that every seed-tuber was the subject of a special incantation, and was received from the hands of the priest by a member of the tribe who could be relied upon to imbed it in the orthodox position, viz., with the tapered end a little elevated and pointing to the rising sun and how, at special periods of its growth, the priests were required to chant other incantations and perform ceremonies to insure an abundant crop, the maam (growing crap) being watched most carefully by other selected members of the tribe; and how, at the time of harvest, the first-fruits of the cr0p were sacredly presented to the gods with ceremonies and incantations, in which the priests alone took.
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