Bone, Moa, Trachea rings; Pre-1450; RI.W2002.1389


Bone, Moa, Trachea rings

About this object

Two moa trachea rings. They are believed to have been found in the Clifden Caves.

Moa were the largest terrestrial animals to inhabit New Zealand's forests and shrublands. There were nine distinct species of moa and they ranged drastically in size with the smallest, the bush moa, being roughly the size of a turkey, and the largest, the giant moa, reaching up to 3.6 metres tall.

Moa were a staple in the diets of Māori in South Canterbury, Otago, and Southland and were hunted in great numbers. While it is unknown how exactly Māori hunted these giant birds, we do know that overhunting was one of the factors that led to the extinction of the moa in around 1450.

Date Made


Place Made

Oceania, Aotearoa New Zealand

Medium and Materials

organic, animal, bone, bird bone, moa bone

Inscription and Marks



.1 l 32 mm x w 19 mm x d 4 mm
2. l 29 mm x w 20 mm x d 3 mm

Measurements taken from widest points.

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

Animals (fauna)

Object Type

taoka/taonga, animals

Object number



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