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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Northwest Coast Vancouver Island Nootka, Nuu-chah-Nulth Wooden Halibut Hook"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Carved from a single branched piece of hard dense fir or spruce knot wood. An iron barb lashed on with flattened cedar root with the opposing faces of a bear and a fish carved to each end
Superb smooth old rich patina
Size: 26.5cm high, 14.5cm wide – 10½ ins high, 5¾ ins wide
See: Finch & Co catalogue no. 13, item no. 66, for an example of a rare 18th Century Tlingit halibut hook
Historically the Nootka diet was based on different varieties of fish, just as the economy was based on fishing and the hunting of marine animals. Among these fish were salmon, herring and their roe, various cod species and halibut, which generally was not as popular a food as salmon since its meat was less firm with less fat.
Hooks such as this were made to catch only halibut of a certain age, neither young and small nor old and large enough to be difficult to handle; halibut, which frequents the sandy beds of the deeper waters, can be caught weighing up to 200 kilos. Thus smaller younger fish were spared to perpetuate the reproductive stock preventing the depletion of the resource.