Abstract Detail


Fadiman, Maria [1].

Kauri (Agathis australis) Ethnobotany: Identity, Conservation and Connection in New Zealand.

The Kauri tree Agathis australis (Araucariaceae), one of the largest trees in the world, is often compared in size and grandeur to the west coast redwoods. The species grows mostly on the north island of New Zealand. Plants play a large role in New Zealand identity. However, the kauri tree earns a different level of awareness and respect from both locals and foreigners. Tourists travel from throughout the globe to view one of the largest individuals, Tane Mahuta, “The God of the Forest”. This paper explores the role that the Kauri tree plays in the current local ethnobotany of New Zealand, looking at the importance in relation to the theories regarding attachment to place through spiritual connection to the landscape. Historically the species was most often used for timber and resin, while also being a revered presence in the forest. Using case studies of ethnically diverse individuals, this project investigates how Maori and non-Maori interact with this species. While deforestation and Kauri dieback disease threaten this flora, the majority of research and conservation focus on the most famous individual trees. This paper looks at those less renowned forest stands and their importance for local people. This human connection to local Kauri can foster preservation of the tree and the environments in which it grows.

1 - Florida Atlantic University, Geosciences, 777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, Florida, 33431, United States

New Zealand
Agathis australis

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract ID:48
Candidate for Awards:None