Story: Te tāhere manu – bird catching

Snaring a weka

William Fox’s 1846 picture ‘In the Aglionby or Matukituki (Matakitaki) Valley, looking into the Otapawa (Matiri)’ shows the Māori guide Kehu snaring a weka. He holds a tari (slip noose on rod) and entices the weka with a decoy – a shorter stick with a bunch of feathers attached. Kehu imitated a bird call at the same time, so the weka would think the feathers were a bird. The method was successful, and was one of many used by Kehu to feed himself and the party he was guiding.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-113-008
Watercolour by William Fox

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:

Basil Keane, 'Te tāhere manu – bird catching - Spears, rods, hands and traps', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 12 December 2023)

Story by Basil Keane, published 24 Sep 2007