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Collection highlights

Makafeke (octopus lures)

Si’oto’ofa,

In celebration of Tongan language week (30 August – 5 September 2015) we have installed two makafeke (octopus lures) in our Te Kākano display case. Lesieli Samiu wrote both the English and Tongan labels.

Makafeke (Octopus lure) Tonga. Gifted Dr T. D. C. Childs 1944.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. AM 27569.1

Makafeke (Octopus lure)

The makafeke is a traditional Tongan lure crafted in the shape of a rat and is used for catching octopus. It is based on the Tongan legend Feke mo KumāThe Octopus and the Rat, which tells the story of how an octopus carried a rat across water to safety but was ultimately betrayed for his kindness when the rat defecated on top of his head. As the legend goes the octopus still seeks revenge on the mischievous rat, and the Tongan people use this knowledge to their advantage by using a rat-shaped lure to provoke an attack.

Traditionally the makafeke is made out of lime stone to imitate the rat’s body, and tiger cowrie shell for its fur. Pandanus leaves and coconut husk fibre are used for its feet and tail. The lure is tied with rope, customarily made out of braided coconut fibres, and then lowered into the water over shallow coral reefs and rocky areas. Tongans rhythmically move the lure through the water in anticipation of the octopus wrapping its tentacles around it in a vice-like grip. The makafeke is still used today with great success!

Makafeke (Octopus Lure). Tonga. Gifted Dr T. D. C. Childs 1944.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. AM 27569.2.

Makafeke

Na’e fa’a ngāue’aki ‘e he kakaí ‘a e makafeké ki hono toutai ‘o e feké ‘i Tonga ‘i he kuohilí. ‘Oku fakafuo tatau ‘a e makafeké ki he sino ‘o e kumā ‘o fakatatau ki he fananga ‘o Feke mo Kumā. ‘Oku pehē ‘e he fanangá na’e loto lelei ‘a feke ke ‘ave ‘a kumā ki ‘uta ka na’e tē ‘a kumā he ‘ulu ‘o feké. Na’e hoko ‘a e pau’u ‘a kumā ke na vākovi mo feke ‘o tupu ai ‘a kumā ko hono fili ta’engata ‘o a’u mai ki he ngaahi ‘aho ni. ‘Oku ‘uhinga hono fakafōtunga ‘a e makafeké ke tatau mo e sino ‘o e kumā ki he taimi ‘oku ‘ohofi ai ‘e he feké ‘o pehē ko kumā.

‘Oku ngāohi‘aki ‘a e makafeké ‘a e makalahe pea ‘oku fakafuo tatau mo fōtunga ‘o e sino ‘o e kumā. ‘Oku ui ‘a e nge’esi fīngotá ko e pule, pea fakatātā‘aki ‘a e pulepule hono nge’esí ki he fulufulu ‘o e kumā. ‘Oku fī leva ‘a e la’ilouniu pea mo e nge’esipulú ke fakava’e’aki mo fakahiku‘aki ‘a e makafeké, ’o hangē tofu pē ‘ene ‘así ko e kumā. ’Oku lahi mo lelei hono toutai ‘a e feké he feitu’u ‘oku hakau mo makamaka. ‘Oku ‘i ai leva ‘a e maea kuo ‘osi fī mo fakapona ki he mui ‘o e makafeké ‘o lava ke ne pukepuke ‘i he taimi ‘oku tuku hifo ai ‘i he tafa’aki ‘o e pōpao. ‘Oku fakatāupe ‘a e makafeké ‘o talifaki ki he taimi ‘e ‘ohofi ‘ai ‘e he feké ‘i he’ene pehē ko e kumā. ‘Oku kei ngāue’aki pē ‘a e makafeké ‘i Tonga ki hono toutai ‘o e feké ‘i he ngaahi ‘aho ni.

‘Ofa atu fau.