- Registration number
- Item name
- Indigenous name
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Papua New Guinea > New Ireland Province > Namatanai District > Panatgin Village
- Dr Elizabeth Brouwer
- Acquisition date
- January 01, 1976
- Acquisition method
- Commissioned by Dr Elizabeth Brouwer
- H: W: L: D: Circum:
Fishing trap made from thorn vine fibre and leaves, with a soft wood float attached by a cord.
Described by the collector as a fish trap traditionally made within the ceremonial context of a malagan. "Many men from neighbouring villages would join in, each making a number of these traps. At the appointed time each would put to sea and set the traps, baited with a small fish or mollusc. When a large fish took the bait the spines of the vine would catch on his flesh or mouth and make it impossible to escape. The fishermen then would retrieve the trap with its catch.
If the water was shallow enough the trap would be placed on the bottom anchored with a stone. When the fish was caught his struggles would release the trap and the wooden float would pull it to the surface, where it could be retrieved". [E. Brouwer 1976 catalogue card]
During a visit to the Museum, Adam Kaminiel noted that this set of fish traps [20629-20631] were made smaller than usual, indicating they were likely made as models or examples. He identified the basket material as rattan and noted that the presence of a float was to signal the fisherman of a potential catch (Kombeng & Kaminiel 2012, pers. comm., 6 Nov)