Story: Sharks and rays

Drying sharks on Rangitoto Island

Drying sharks on Rangitoto Island

Sharks were a staple food for many Māori. After fishing expeditions in which thousands of sharks would be caught, the carcasses were hung on racks to dry. This scene, painted by Charles Heaphy about 1850, records a small-scale operation.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: C-025-002
Watercolour by Charles Heaphy

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Sharks and rays - Māori and sharks', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 August 2022)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 12 Jun 2006