KĀUTA

Like the heart of any home, the kāuta (kitchen) still remains one of the social convening areas on the marae and at this point in time is one of the oldest existing buildings on site. The first Kāuta built was very simple in structure and was constructed from the bark of the Perengi and tin and stood where the open fire place and old chimney remains today. To the credit of our tūpuna, they painstakingly carried the Perengi down from the maunga on their backs. The Kāuta, although never named, was well constructed and like the days of a by-gone era had a dirt floor in what was described as “…quite a large room.” From all accounts retold, there were always 3 to 4 big brass copper pots cooking which hung over the fire by wire and were always full of kai. In later years and through some modernization, the long concrete closed in stove was erected, but again the copper pots remained as they were best suited for this type of cooking.

 

 

In the first kāuta, because of its large size, one half was used for cooking and the other for sleeping and hay was brought in for mattresses. Our tūpuna would lay their blankets on top of the hay to sleep. During the nights when it was cold, people would sit around piles of hot ashes from the open fire to keep themselves warm.

The old chimney remains in the same place and is one of the oldest surviving memories of those old days. But through time and general weathering, the chimney is in need of repair and it’s future remains uncertain. Although now no longer used to cook our food, it is a friendly reminder of those old days and the very hard work put into our marae by our tūpuna.

Mauri ora!

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