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The Material Culture of the Cook Islands (Aitutaki)


The cord for making nets was prepared from the bast of trees, such as the oronga, hau, papako, and paper mulberry. Of these, the oronga was the best. Sinnet cord was also used.

Scoop nets, short set nets, and long seine nets were made. In all, the technique of the mesh was the same. The people of Aitutaki are proud of their net-making. They maintain that their method is superior to that of Europeans, in that they do not cut the cord into lengths to wind on a netting needle. A dispassionate study of their technique shows that their contention is fully justified. It is only in material that the native method has altered. European cord is bought but all the variety of nets are made entirely by their own technique, and ready-made European nets are not bought.