Collection online

fishing-net / basket

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Ghost net basket; coiled; made from green, blue, white and orange fishing nets (synthetic fibre ?).

  • Producer name

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 2010-2011
  • Production place

    • Made in: Moa term details
    • (Oceania,Australia,Queensland,Torres Strait Islands,Moa (Torres Strait))
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 25 centimetres
    • Height: 12 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Indigenous Australians have been making baskets out of local, organic resources for more than 50,000 years. More recently new materials such as wool and raffia have been used as well as traditional fibres. Since early this century, women in northern Australia have been utilising washed up synthetic fishing nets in their fibre craft.

    Discarded fishing nets are regularly cut loose from commercial vessels in the seas around South East Asia and drift randomly in the Pacific ocean, catching fish for nobody. They float towards Australia during the monsoon season from November to March and collect around the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Torres Strait Islands, mainly between May and September.

    Mahnah Angela Torenbeek (see text below) collects these 'ghost nets' from beaches and makes them into baskets. By removing the nets Torenbeek, a committed educator, upholds her responsibility to care for the sea.


  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2011 26 May-11 Sep, London, BM, G91, Baskets and Belonging: Indigenous Australian Histories
    2015 23 Apr-2 Aug, London, BM, G35, Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased from the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in February 2011, towards the 2011 British Museum exhibition 'Baskets and Belonging'.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: EOC119234

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