Gum digging implement; XMM.84


Gum digging implement

About this object

Gum digging implement; consisting of a single iron rod with looped iron handle, the opposite end has an oval iron blade at right angles to the shaft. The blade edges likely to have been sharpened.

Gum digging was a major source of income for many Māori and European settlers in Northland from around the 1870s. Found to be superior to other resins, the gum from the kauri tree was exported to London and America where its major use was in the manufacture of varnish. Generally gathering in the forks of the tree and around the roots on the ground underneath, over time gum would become buried by soil or drowned in swamps where kauri trees once stood. Gum digging tools such as this one were used for probing the ground to find gum.

For more information about Mangungu Mission House, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.

Medium and Materials



L: 117cm
H: 4cm
W: 15.5cm
D: 10.2cm

Credit Line

Collection of Mangungu Mission House, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Object Type

Gum digging implement

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from
gum digging

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