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Object: Mutu Kaka (bird snare)

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Title Mutu Kaka (bird snare)
Production Unknown (maker/artist), 1850-1900, Parihaka
Materials wood, muka
Classification snares
Technique carving
Dimensions Overall: 375mm (Length) x 220mm (Width) x 29mm (Depth)
Registration number ME004820

The mutu käkä form of bird snare was a simple but effective method of snaring large numbers of the noisy, socially garrulous, and inquisitive käkä (parrots: Nestor meridionalis). A plaited muka (flax fibre) cord would be jerked trapping the legs of the käkä against the protruding upright of the mutu käkä.

Mökai (tamed birds)
Young käkä were easily captured and tamed. They were held captive by a small leg ring called a pöria, which had a small cord attached to prevent the bird flying off. Käkä pöria (leg rings) could be quite ornate and were also worn as pendants. Mökai were made to call out to attract wild birds in the vicinity, who would come in great numbers upon hearing the cry of the captured bird. Mutu käkä were then used to capture birds as they alighted on the horizontal perch of the snare.

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