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:


Shark noose made of plaited vine and softwood plank

Research notes

"This noose is made by shark fishermen... The plank and noose are held in the hand and when the shark swims alongside the canoe to take the bait, the noose below the plank is placed so he swims into it. The plank is quickly let go and the noose tightens around the neck of the shark. The rope is let go and the shark swims off to fight the plank on his back, which spins like a propeller and pulls him to the surface. When the shark is tired the fisherman paddles over and clubs it. The plank is the loosened and the shark hauled on board. This piece of gear is kept in the rafters of the men's house" [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 described the shark noose being used in conjunction with a coconut rattle (see 20632) which would be used to lure the shark. This is a ritual or specialist form of fishing rather than an everyday activity. He thought the carvings on the underside of the "propeller" were most likely to maker's marks rather than particular symbols (Kombeng & Kaminiel 2012, pers. comm., 6 Nov)

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