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Fishing holds profound significance in Te Ao Māori, the Māori world, as evidenced by its creation story. According to Māori mythology, the North Island of Aotearoa (New Zealand) was fished up by the demi-God Māui and is still referred to as 'Te-Ika-a-Māui' or 'the fish of Māui' today.'
Māori people utilised a wide range of traditional fishing methods that mirrored the diverse environments of Aotearoa. These methods include nets, traps, spears and hook-and-line. Fish hooks were crafted from various materials such as wood, stone, bone, ivory and shell, drawing upon designs that evolved over thousands of years.
Māori fish hooks gallery
See fish hooks from Aotearoa in the collection below. Click on each image for full screen view and use the zoom functionality to see more detail of each fish hook.