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Place: Tahiti & Society Islands
Category: Fishing & hunting

hardwood, cord, Tahiti and the Society Islands, l. 12.2 cm (up to the lashing), Inv. Oz 206

Humphrey No. 235: ‘Another, [fish hook], from the Friendly Isles.’

The U-shaped fish-hook made from a piece of hardwood corresponds in form and material to the specimen listed above in the Humphrey catalogue under number 234 (Oz 383), although the lengths of the two differ considerably. According to Kaeppler, this object did not originate in Tonga as listed in the Humphrey catalogue, but in the Society Islands.

Whereas the hook, the point of which is bent slightly inwards, has a uniform, round-oval cross-section tapering towards the end, the shank and a part of the U-shaped curve are less even. Here, the cross-section is irregular and flat-oval, and shows marks from off-shoots. This can be considered an indication that it is a piece made out of a rhizome, because according to Moschner (1955: 188), this is especially characteristic for wooden hooks such those used to catch sharks, ma’o. Gundolf Krüger


Moschner, Irmgard, ‘Die Wiener Cook-Sammlung, Südsee-Teil’, Archiv für Völkerkunde, Vienna and Stuttgart, 1955, vol. 10, pp. 136-253.

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