Gum diggers. cultural underclass. swamps. Sarahs family history. ..."some loggers found a rope at the base of a large kauri. They felled the tree, and among the branches found the skeleton of a gum collector who must have climbed the tree and then dropped his rope". http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/kauri-gum-and-gum-digging/page-2
As the gumfields became depleted, the diggers turned to swamps for kauri gum. Digging ‘on the face’, this gang at Ōmāmari, north of Dargaville, is cutting a 10-metre-deep drain. Once a swamp was drained they would move in with spades and probes.