About this object

A two-piece hook with a wood shank lined with shell on the inner surface and a bone point. The shank is inward-curving and has a semi-circular cross-section, tapering to the head. There is a knob at the base. The point tip is slightly out curved, with a barb on the inner surface. It is lashed on at an angle to the shank. There is a plaited fibre line.

Pa kahawai are lure hooks, with fish attracted to the movement and iridescence of the shell rather than bait. They were used to fish from canoes in river mouths or just offshore in the sea.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Tools
  • Culture
    Maori
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood (Podocarpus totara possibly); Abalone (Haliotis sp); Bone; Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Technique: Carved, ground, plaited
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    4.0 x 2.0 x 17.0 cm
  • Related people

Ownership

Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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