prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum

1886.1.1279. 2

PRM000127889Octopus lure, of rock, shell, etc., from Tonga; part of the Forster collection (Forster 63; 1886.1.1279.2)

Made from a dense rock, possibly calcite or the base of a stalactite, shaped to form a cone with curved sides. To this are bound two plates of cowrie shell (Cypraea tigris), each with a hole drilled in the centre. The lower, larger plate measures approximately 75 mm long by 105 mm wide, and the upper plate, which is roughly circular, is 65 mm long by 75 mm wide. The holes drilled in the shell are approximately 8-9 mm in diameter. The plates are bound to the stone so that one overlaps the other, using cords of plaited coconut fibre. One of the plates is drilled, but the cord does not pass through the hole; this could suggest that the shell has been reused. A twig 160 mm long is bound to the underside of the lure. A length of plaited coconut fibre is attached to the top of the lure, by which it would have been dragged near the top of the water over a reef. The cord is coiled.


  PRM0001300245179Octopus lure