The traditional Māori way to catch the common coastal fish kahawai was not with baited hooks. Beautiful lures like this one were drawn through the water, attracting the fish with their flashes of colour. Iridescent shell from the native pāua (abalone) lines the inner surface of the whalebone hook. The barbed point is made of New Zealand jade (pounamu). It is tied to the whalebone with twine made from the leaves of the climbing vine kiekie.
Using this item
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: I. 006367
Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.