Object: Decorative Pa Kahawai (trolling lure)
This image has All Rights Reserved.
Please follow the Buy or license link under each image to apply to use this image. (Charges may apply)
Why you need to apply for the use of this image
Rights for this work may be:
- controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders; or
- unclear - Te Papa will do a more detailed analysis of the work’s rights history; or
- covered by Te Papa’s Mana Taonga principle which supports the rights of holders of traditional knowledge to determine how the image may be used.
You need to make sure you don’t infringe on the rights of third parties before you use this image. Our image request process helps with this. Te Papa does not authorise the use of this image beyond the uses allowed by the “fair dealing” provisions of the New Zealand Copyright Act, 1994.
More information about copyright
We recommend these resources for more information:
- Copyright in NZ - Ministry of Economic Development
- Copyright guidelines and resource - Lianza
- Enabling use and re-use - Digital NZ
Find more information about Te Papa's rights project on our blog, including how rights types are assigned.
Get in touch
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, or
- if you wish to contact the rights holder for this work. We will assist where we can.
|Title||Decorative Pa Kahawai (trolling lure)|
Unknown (craftsman), New Zealand
|Materials||pounamu, ivory, paua shell, Kiekie|
|Technique||carving, abrasion, assembling|
x 53mm (Width)
x 17mm (Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 1968|
Pä kahawai are trolling lures designed to attract and hook large surface-feeding fish, such as kahawai (sea trout: Arripis trutta). Adapted from Polynesian trolling lures, pä kahawai are composite lures typically constructed using a ground and shaped päua (large New Zealand abalone with blue-green inner shell) shell lure set in a wooden shank with a bone barb fixed at the base and bound tightly with muka (flax fibre) cord.
An unusual example
This pä kahawai is unusual because it has been made from the finest materials available. The shank is whale bone, and the päua shell inlay has been carefully selected and fitted to it. The three-point pounamu (New Zealand greenstone) barb is expertly fashioned, and the ends of the hook are tightly bound by three-ply kiekie (climber: Freycinetia baueriana) fibre cord dyed in natural plant extracts.
A ceremonial purpose
The elaborate crafting suggests the lure was designed for a purpose beyond its functional capability. It possibly played a ceremonial role in pre-fishing rituals.
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.