Alternative Use for a Whale Vetebra

This is the largest bone in the museum collection and is part of the spine of a whale, hunted near Kapiti Island possibly over 100 years ago.  This vertebra was owned by the Port Family and was gifted to the museum in the 1990s.

In his book “Adventures in New Zealand” (1845) Edward Jerningham Wakefield described in great detail the interior of a whaler’s hut, in which he describes vertebrae like this one being used as seats.