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A Superb Old Micronesian Woven Basketry Fish Trap Yap Island Micronesia


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Collection No. TB-4079
Size Length 58cm
Oceanic Arts Australia buys and sells tribal New Guinea art

A Superb Old Micronesian Woven Basketry Fish Trap Yap Island Micronesia

This beautiful old Fish Trap constructed from bamboo and coconut fibre coir rope was made with great skill like a complex architectural model based on mathematical engineering.

The Federated States of Micronesia is comprised of four states, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. Each state has its own unique traditional fishing practices. Across these islands, many different forms of traditional fishing knowledge were shared and fishermen ventured into the waters, relying on their ancestral knowledge to catch a diverse array of marine life.

The fishing basket trap is an apparatus used to trap fish with a funnel-like entrance that allows fish easy passage to get inside but difficult to get out. It is usually made from bamboo and other materials like rattan, the fishing basket trap is an ancient way to catch fish probably used by human beings for many thousands of years. People around the world have the custom of using fishing basket traps that come in various shapes & technology specific to the type of fish being sought.

When fishing in a lagoon with calm water, you can sink the fishing basket trap with a float connected to show the location.  The back part of the basket is always an enclosure where a piece of bait is provided.   Catching fish with a fishing basket trap is a sustainable way to food resources.  It was a reliable method to get food for humans for thousands of years. The techniques of weaving and making use of the fishing basket were indispensable knowledge for the people of that time. This sustainable practice not only maintains local livelihoods but also preserves the fragile marine ecosystems that are vital to the nation’s well-being.

The Pacific Ocean plays a central role in the lives of Micronesians, not only is it used for fishing, inter-island travel, and, formerly, warfare, but it also serves as a conduit for trade networks and political alliances.  Micronesian artworks directly associated with the ocean include Basketry Fish Traps like this example and the important Stick Navigation Charts and Weather Charms from Yap Island both of which were associated with long ocean voyages.

Yalulawei, benevolent water spirits were summoned by the navigator or fisherman through chanting to ensure a smooth and safe voyage during fishing.

If you are interested in antique Micronesian Art I have some very beautiful old artworks for museums or collectors , see the other Micronesian artworks on my website

Provenance: Old Collection Australia & The Todd Barlin Collection of Oceanic & Micronesian Art

See all of the links & photos in my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY  showing the Museums & Art Gallery Exhibitions that I provided artworks for over the past 40 years. There is the link to the article about my artworks published in the prestigious Louvre Magazine 1996

I have artwork for Museums and art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery. I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.

My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specializes in New Guinea and Oceanic Art.  Sydney is very close New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbors.

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