Volume 66 1957 > Volume 66, No. 2 > Notes and queries, p 210-211
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[592] A Dendroglyph from Inland Patea (Upper Rangitikei).

This is the first recorded dendroglyph from Inland Patea. It was discovered by Mr. R. E. Gardner on his property near the head of the Waikakahi Stream, a tributary of the Moawhango River, and a short distance from a small patch of mixed podocarp forest called Mataroa (Grid reference: 332324 N.Z.M.S. 74).

The carving which has been executed on the stem of a cabbage-tree (Cordyline australis) is outlined in chalk by the writer, faces due west, and is approximately 1 ft. 2 ins. in length and breadth. It is located on the top side of the uppermost of approximately forty cabbage-trees which are situated in a small gully draining into the Waikakahi Stream.

The carving itself bears little resemblance to the glyphs of the Chatham Islands except for the heart-shaped outline of the face (see Miss C. Jefferson's paper, J.P.S., Vol. 64, No. 4). The eyes which are elongated differ from the round eyes of the Moriori carvings.

Owing to the structure of the cabbage-tree stem which consists of a pithy interior surrounded by a harder shell and a thick corky bark it is impossible to obtain increment borings for dating purposes. The writer is therefore unable to supply an estimate of the age of this carving or the tree except to note that the latter, in common with others in the group, is well branched—a factor which is more reliable than stem thickness as an indication of age in this species.

Inquiries from earlier occupiers of the property reveal that Mr. A. Floyd observed this carving about 1930 when its appearance was much the same as at present. Mr. W. M. McCombie, who preceded Mr. Floyd, did not recall the carving and it seems probable that it was carved at some earlier period. When the work was originally carried out, the incisions into the white pithy material beneath the bark would have made the carving obvious for several seasons until weathering had taken place.

The age of this dendroglyph must therefore remain uncertain, but its position at the head of a gully filled with an unusually heavy concentration of cabbage-trees suggests that it may have been a rahui (or trespass sign) set up last century by a Maori owner. In the Minutes of the Maori Land Court (Napier Minute Book No. 16, p. 316) it is recorded that a rahui was erected at Te Puke a Tete, a celebrated grove of cabbage-trees at Opaea, which is less than two miles distant from this particular site.

As a protective measure Mr. Gardner has agreed to place wire netting across this carving as it is not uncommon for stock to eat the outer portions of cabbage-tree stems during winter months. The writer would welcome further details or photographs of similar dendroglyphs which may occur within New Zealand proper.

—R. A. L. Batley, Moawhango, Taihape.

[593] Jade or Greenstone as a Term.

In the June, 1956 issue of J.P.S. Mr. Leslie Adkin replies to my plea for the use of the word “jade” instead of the generally-used term “greenstone.” In his second paragraph Mr. Adkin refers to The Armytage

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A Dendroglyph from Inland Patea.

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Collection of Maori Jade (Webster) and The Jade of the Maori (Ruff). Of these books Mr. Adkin says: “In these works, both of which were published in London, the word ‘jade’ is not only associated with Maori artefacts in their titles but the term ‘jade’ is also explicitly adopted throughout the text and in captions to illustrations to cover both kinds of New Zealand greenstone—the pounamu and the tangiwai of the Maori, mineralogically, nephrite and bowenite respectively.”

Those who have read these books will be able to assess Mr. Adkin's statement for what it is worth. Those who have not read them will not know how grossly misleading this statement is. In both the books mentioned the difference between bowenite and nephrite is clearly stated. In The Armytage Collection of Maori Jade only one bowenite piece is illustrated and this is clearly listed as bowenite under its Maori name “tangiwai.

Mr. Adkin then goes on with much impressive-looking technical detail about the analyses of jadeite, nephrite and bowenite which does not add up to anything more than to confirm that these minerals are jadeite, nephrite and bowenite. The authorities of the Geological Museum in London, and the Gemmological Association of Great Britain are agreed that New Zealand nephrite is jade and the writer of this note, being but a humble layman, prefers to accept the judgement of the competent experts on this question.

Mr. Adkin, for good measure, goes on to say: “Another point is that in New Zealand, the chief occurrences of nephrite and bowenite are restricted to separate localities . . .” What this has to do with the argument is not apparent.

Finally, to cover the difficulty about bowenite being excluded if “jade” were used for New Zealand nephrite there is always the suggestion of finding a suitable name for bowenite. It could, for instance, be called bowenite. By calling each mineral by its own name one would avoid the unscientific grouping of two distinct minerals under the name “greenstone.”

—Kenneth A. Webster, London.

Readers are reminded that the Editors welcome manuscripts for consideration, with a view to publishing them in the Journal. To make planning easier, it is desirable to have a steady supply of suitable contributions, and we would like to see more coming forward.