Fishhook (Solomon Islands), Before 1917
This is a Fishhook.
Known by different names in the languages of the Solomon Islands—to’oheo in Sa’a and Ulawa and toheo in Uki/Ugi and Arosi—this type of shell fishhook was employed to catch mackerel, sardines, and other small oceangoing fish. Today, industrially manufactured metal hooks and lures have replaced them. This V-shaped hook was cut from a shell with either metal or stone tools; four small roundels were etched into the hook’s sides and then darkened with a resin. Once done, men attached the finished hook to a line affixed to a length of bamboo. From a platform built over a reef, the fishermen moved the hook up and down in the water to mimic the movements of a small fish. Making and using this hook required a great deal of virtuosity.
It is credited
Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, E399982.
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Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 1.1 x 2.9 x 0.3 cm (7/16 x 1 1/8 x 1/8 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.