Title / object name
Pa Kahawai (trolling lure)
|Maker ||Role ||Date |
|Unknown ||carver ||1750-1850 |
shell, muka, bone
|Overall ||81.45 (Height) x 29.66 (Length) x 13.65 (Width/Depth) mm|
carving, grinding, assembling
Oldman Collection. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1992
The pä kahawai is a composite (two piece) trolling lure. The trolling lure is a Polynesian fishing technique that was brought to New Zealand by Maori and later adpated using available materials and targeting local species, the kahawai (sea salmon). The pa kahawai is typically constructed with a wooden shank, to which is firmly set and bound a shaped lure inset, made from paua shell (abalone), and a bone barb.
This particular example consists of a worked piece of paua shell shank, shaped, polished, and decorated with a series of fine notches, with a shell barb, and tightly bound with muka fibre.