Matai

Sizes available: 128 x 19mm / 165 x 19mm / 172 x 19mm / 200 x 19mm / 200 x 19mm / 210 x 19mm / 220 x 19mm

Finishes Available: Can be Stained, Polyurethaned and Oiled.

Surface type: Smooth

Hardness: Softwood

Scientific Name: Prumnopitys taxifolia

Matai is a native timber to New Zealand. Matai is graded into two distinctions - Heartwood and Sapwood. Heartwood is a beautiful warm brown, sap wood is a yellow/brown. Gives a beautiful silky finish when sanded and polished.

Matai has a long history of uses in NZ. Historically it was used for a wide variety of musical instruments, large cooking vessels, long hunting spears, handles for tools like toki (adzes) and for thwarts and bailers of waka (canoes)

Māori drank the sap from certain older mataī trees and Pakehā bushmen bored holes at the base of old mataī trees, plugged them and tapped them like a barrel so they could drink the sap fresh after a hot day’s work in the bush. They called it mataī beer, and it was reportedly very refreshing when first tapped, but became flat after it was exposed to the air. While it had no alcohol content in its natural state, some enterprising home brewers collected it, added yeast and left it to ferment into quite a strong beer.

Some historical references say the juice of the mataī was collected and used to check the advance of consumption, perhaps better known these days as pulmonary tuberculosis.

Source: Ngaitahu Iwi Nz




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