Why the funny name? Or… Tough gift in a dainty package…..
The kunekune’s (“Cooney Cooney” or simply “kunes” to me) origin is unclear but general consensus things they came from the Maori people on an island by New Zealand in the 1900’s. Kunekune in Maori means “short and round”. In the late 1970’s the breed was ‘rediscovered’ and at that time the kunekune was near extinction with only about 50 purebred Kunekunes left in New Zealand. From purebred base stock of only 6 sows and 3 boars in 1978, the Kunekune have grown across Europe. It wasn’t until 1995 that a few Americans did the dirty work by bringing some excellent boars and sows from New Zealand and England to help the USA to get up to speed on this special and sustainable heritage pig.
In 2005, trailblazer and American Kunekune Breeders Association (AKBA) founder and president, Lori Enright with Olde Reminisce Farms (USA KuneKunes) began selling kunekunes to the thankful public. As the breeder list continues to grow quickly, hopefully each state will someday have a local breeder to consider.