Hawaiian Fishing

Leho heʻe
Artist/maker: Byron Cook
Date of Manufacture: 3/16/2001
Description: Small scale replica of a traditional octopus lure comprised of a coffee bean sinker made of vesicular basalt, Tiger cowrie, shell hook, ti leaves and hau cordage.
Dimensions: L 21.5 cm, W 4.2 cm
Catalog Number: HALE 206

Leho he‘e

The leho he‘e (octopus lure) is a bone hook attached to a wooden shaft, cowry shell, and stone sinker. The leho he‘e was made for fishing in deeper waters and was used to catch octopus. The cowry shell for the leho he‘e was selected with great care. There are four varieties of cowry shell; and each cowry was used at different periods of the day. The ahi cowry lure was used in the morning before sunrise, the ‘olupalaha and pauhu cowry lure was used after the sun rose, and the kupa cowry lure was used towards noon. The leho he‘e pictured here was made by a Haleakalā National park ranger, and is on display at the Kīpahulu Visitor Center.
Artist/maker: Kenneth Hiraoka
Date of Manufacture: 2017
Description: Makau (Fishhook); ‘ōhi‘a lehua and cow bone hook, wax cordage
HALE 197


Traditionally, makau (fishhooks) are made of bone, shell and wood, varying in size and shape depending on the type of fishing they are to be used for. Local artist and master carver Kenneth Hiraoka was commissioned by Haleakalā National Park to make a reproduction of a makau that was found in the Haleakalā wilderness during a 1962 archeological survey. The original object may have been left behind as an offering.

Pictured below are fishhooks made by park staff exhibited at our Kīpahulu Visitor Center. Large hooks were used for sea bottom fishing at depths of 10-30 fathoms (60-180 ft). In the Kīpahulu area, fishing with a hook and line occurred more often than fishing with spears, nets or traps.
Hawaiian Fishhooks
Artist/maker: Legario (Hanky) Eharis, Jr.
Date Created: 3/12/2001
Description: Large one-piece barbed fishhook with hau cordage. Made of cow bone.
Artist/Maker: Walter Pu
Date of Created: 3/21/2001
Description: Medium one-piece fishhook with hau cordage. Made of deer bone.
Artist/Maker: Walter Pu
Date of Created: 3/21/2001 Description: Small one-piece fishhook with hau cordage. Made of cow bone.
Dimensions: L 8.3 cm, W 5 cm Dimensions: L 5.2 cm, W 2.5 cm Dimensions: L 2.7 cm, W 1.6 cm
Catalog Number: HALE 207 Catalog Number: HALE 208 Catalog Number: HALE 209

Last updated: December 23, 2019

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