A New Zealand Maori Lure Fish Hook 'Matau'

A New Zealand Maori Lure Fish Hook 'Matau'

1800 to 1900 New Zealand ( Maori )

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A New Zealand Maori Lure Fish Hook ‘Matau’ , wood , paua shell , bone and twisted flax fibre
19 th Century

Size : 11.5 cm high – 4½ ins high
Fish was an important source of food for the ancestral Maori as they originally came to the temperate southern land of New Zealand without pig or jungle fowl .
In the North Island the fish 'Kahawal' was caught with un-baited trolling or spinning hooks such as this example towed at speed behind canoes . The wood shank was set on the inside with a plate of paua ( haliotis iris ) shell which served to lure the fish onto the bone point . The success of this method of fishing can be gauged by the fact that it was retained even when metal became available .
Dimensions
Height 11.50 cm (4.53 inches)
Medium
wood , paua shell , bone and twisted flax fibre
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