Tree Burial in New Zealand

[Extracted from Knowledge, vol. 2, August 4, 1882, p. 171. (No author stated.)]


The recent fall of an enormous puketea tree near Opitiki, New Zealand, disclosed the fact that the hollow interior from the roots to the fork, about forty-five feet from the ground, had been filled with human bodies. A confused heap of skeletons burst out of the butt of the tree when it fell. A local paper says:"A more extraordinary sight than this monarch of the forest lying prone and discharging a perfect hecatomb of human skeletons can scarcely be conceived. Some are nearly perfect, while others are mixed up in a chaotic mass of heads, hands, feet and arms, indiscriminately. All the Maoris here seem to have been quite unaware of this natural charnel-house, and declare that it must have happened long before their or their fathers' time."


[This same quote can also be found in Cambridge Jeffersonian, 16 November, 1882, Page 1, and The Pacific School Journal, vol. 7:1, 1883, p. 62.]