Story: Te mahi kai – food production economics

Oyster-shell fishing lure shank

Oyster-shell fishing lure shank

This fishing lure shank is made from the shell of a black-lipped pearl oyster, which only lives in the tropics. The shank was found in an archaeological site at Tairua on the Coromandel Peninsula. It is one of a very few existing items known to have been brought to New Zealand by early Polynesian arrivals. Māori adapted the trolling-lure shanks in New Zealand, using stone, bone and local shell instead of pearl-oyster shell.

Using this item

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira
Reference: AU 1785

Permission of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Manuka Henare, 'Te mahi kai – food production economics - Adapting to New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/20256/oyster-shell-fishing-lure-shank (accessed 6 July 2020)

Story by Manuka Henare, published 24 Nov 2008