Image Possum trappers

TLF ID R1760

This is a photograph of two New Zealand possum trappers. It was taken in 1929 in Taranaki, North Island, and shows the trappers with the dried skins of the Australian brush-tailed possum ('Trichosurus vulpecula').

Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset shows the skins of the Australian brush-tailed possum, which was introduced to New Zealand in 1837 to establish a local trade in animal fur - importation continued until 1920 and by 2004 there were approximately 70 million possums in New Zealand eating their way through seven million tonnes of vegetation per year.
  • It depicts a common scene of the time, when the fur trade was important - changes in fashion, in part influenced by shifting attitudes to the treatment of animals, have now caused a decline in the industry.
  • It illustrates the appearance of possum trappers and the sort of clothing they wore, especially when posing for the camera.
Year level

F; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12

Learning area
  • history;
  • studies of society and environment
  • History/Historical knowledge and understandings
  • Studies of society and environment/Time, continuity and change

Other details

  • Content provider
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Remarks: Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Author
  • Date of contribution: 1929
  • Organisation: Crown Studios, New Zealand
  • Remarks: photographer
  • Publisher
  • Date of contribution: 27 Aug 2013
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning resource type
  • Image
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Operating systems
  • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
  • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements