Maripi (shark-tooth knife)


Te Papa

Te Papa
Wellington, New Zealand

This elaborately carved māripi (shark-tooth knife) is beautifully preserved and remains a fierce looking tool. Māripi were cutting tools made from wood and sharks’ teeth lashed into place by flax fibre. They were used to cut flesh, such as whale or shark, and for other utilitarian tasks. There are, however, some accounts that they were also used in battle.


  • Title: Maripi (shark-tooth knife)
  • Creator Gender: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1500/1800
  • Location Created: New Zealand
  • Physical Dimensions: w53 x h215 mm
  • Type: knives
  • Rights: Gift of Lord St Oswald, 1912
  • External Link: Te Papa
  • Medium: shark teeth, wood, paua shell
  • Carver: Unknown

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