Bone, Moa, Pelvis; Pre 1450; RI.0000.273


Bone, Moa, Pelvis

About this object

A large moa pelvis, the species is not known.

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.

This pelvis may have been found at Pukorokio or Moa Creek. Located just across the estuary from the current museum, Pukorokio originates in the Longwoods and feeds into the Pourakino River between Centre Road and the Narrows. Pukorokio is recorded as the place where the last moa in Murihiku, Southland were slain.

Date Made

Pre 1450

Place Made

Oceania, Aotearoa New Zealand

Medium and Materials

organic, animal, bone, bird bone, moa bone

Inscription and Marks



l 360 mm x w 255 mm x d 135 mm

Measurements taken at widest points.

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

Animals (fauna)

Object Type

taoka/taonga, animals

Object number



Attribution - Non-commercial (cc) Attribution - Non-commercial (cc)

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