Testifying to the extent of literacy and its centrality in the daily life of southern Kai Tahu by the turn of the twentieth century, Tini explained that after she arrived at The Neck she wrote to her 'mother and all the dear ones that I had left behind, to tell them of my safe arrival, and then settled down to hard work, and hard work it was, preparing for the mutton bird
But the Mutton bird
is pretty cool and is sort of mini albatross.
Now The Mutton Birds
are set to try their luck in Britain.
Bic makes a guest appearance on the album, as does Ron Sexsmith who is a big fan of Alan's: "He knew a lot of the stuff my old band The Mutton Birds
did and particularly liked a couple of the songs I'd written.
Since forming in 1991, the Mutton Birds
have established a hardcore following of loyal supporters who will travel the country, even the world, to see their favourite group and that's exactly what happened on Friday.
The Mutton Birds
, pictured left - to these ears the best group to come out of New Zealand since Crowded House - make their Irish debut in the Da Club this evening.
It's a slowpaced set dominated by Mike Mills' keyboards, only the 60s-styled Wanderlust and High Speed Train, the latter with subtle shades of The Mutton Birds
, demanding attention.
In contemporary popular music terms, there's been Crowded House, the brothers Finn and McGlashan's own Mutton Birds
and, well, the list is exhausted.
Songbird Linda Thompson guests on poignant Sandy Denny tribute She's Been Writing, there's a Phil Spector feel to the bitter Make The Deal and singalong For Every Corner recalls The Mutton Birds
Highlights include the reinvigorated Mutton Birds
on Tuesday and David Gray on Thursday.
Yes, the band's subtle songs and harmonies at times recall mid-period Michael Stipe, but they have more in common with New Zealand's Mutton Birds
Other acts taking part in the week-long festival, again being hosted by Ronnie's, include Eddi Reader, the Mutton Birds
, Sunhouse and the much-rated David Gray who has toured with the likes of Radiohead, Maria McKee and Ian McNabb.