Hinaki (eel/fish trap)


Te Papa

Te Papa
Wellington, New Zealand

This hīnaki (eel/fish trap) was used to catch kōaro fish (Galaxias brevipinnis). It is made from slim mānuka (tea tree: Leptospernum scoparium) stems and dressed muka (flax fibre) cord. It is a fine example of the torotika method of weaving, where the stems are arranged longitudinally and braced with latitudinal looped twists. Hīnaki weaving was usually the domain of men who were adept at quickly and deftly constructing sometimes very massive hīnaki to catch food from rivers.

UsageHīnaki would be baited and placed with the current in a river. The targeted fish would enter the inverted hole at one end and become trapped. Hīnaki are still used today – if somewhat rarely.


  • Title: Hinaki (eel/fish trap)
  • Creator Gender: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1850/1900
  • Location Created: New Zealand
  • Physical Dimensions: w200 x h630 mm
  • Type: traps
  • Rights: Acquisition history unknown
  • External Link: Te Papa
  • Medium: Manuka, muka
  • Weaver: Unknown

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