Abalone with Historic Maori Fishing Hooks Art Print

Art Print

Abalone with Historic Maori Fishing Hooks

by Patricia Howitt

Collect your choice of gallery quality Giclée, or fine art prints custom trimmed by hand in a variety of sizes with a white border for framing.


The Maori settlers made fishing hooks out of bone, sometimes mounted on wooden lures faced with flashing abalone shell and adorned with a tails made of feathers. Fishing lines and lashings were made from the fibers of the flax plant (Phormium tenax), one of the strongest natural fibers in the world, also used for making ropes and woven cloaks, skirts, mats, and wall decorations.

It has been said of NZ flax, "It is totally unlike the Flax-plant known to Europeans, though the two may be compared in the strength and usefulness of their fibres. The farmer is never in want of a piece of twine with a flax bush growing near his home. He has merely to take one of the long leaves, and tear a strip from it, and he holds in his hand a piece of string that it is almost impossible to break."
Laing and Blackwell - Plants of New Zealand.

The coloring of the New Zealand Abalone or Paua (Haliotis iris), endemic to the cool waters of the South Pacific around Aotearoa, is unique.

Acrylic on board - detail from a painting 15"x 20".

paua, aotearoa, new zealand abalone, haliotis iris, fishing, fishing line, hooks, matau, ika, hi ika, muka, flax, bone carving, still life, blue, green, brown, black

illustration nature painting