Written on back with blue ballpoint pen: “Flax Cutters, Miranui Mill, Shannon.”
Four flax cutters taking a break, Miranui Mill, Shannon. The swamp was divided into blocks which were cut once every four years by the flax cutters.
1 B&W photo print copy, mounted
Any use of this image must be accompanied by the credit “Horowhenua Historical Society Inc.”
This phot was also used in Bob Ayson's book Miranui with the following description:
Flaxcutters having a welcome rest amongst the flax. The swamp was divided into blocks which were cut once every four years by the flaxcutters who used a sharp blade shaped like a reap hook. The portions of the block allotted to each group of cutters were called "breaks". The flax was cut about one foot above the base of the plant and tied into bundles of about 25 to a ton and stacked for the "trammies" to collect. Over three acres of flax was cut daily and the average worker cut 3rh to 4 tons of flax in a 8 hour day. About 22,000 tons of leaf was cut annually.
Photo: Palmerston North Public Library.