Mystery Object 356: Not Nunchaku

Yes, it's in a case with a violin.

Yes, it’s in a case with a violin.

Size: A chain of small tomato juice cans

Recorded: October 2014

Found: Lahaina, Hawaii, USA

Circa: Mid-Late 1900s.

Made: United States

Material: Creosote Treated Wood, String

Status: Known

Here we have another common thing, but in an unusual form. These were handmade by a single person and were used for many years. They were attached to something, and were purely practical. There’s nothing intentionally decorative about them.

They’re in the case for no other reason than that they were made by someone from the community.

They were used daily, always outdoors.

Hint 1: 


They’re usually made of plastic.


Hint 2: 


They used to be made of glass.




They’re floats for a fishing net. What’s interesting is that they were made by a Filipino immigrant out of a railroad tie. He carved each one, and burned a hole through the middle with hot spear points.


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  1. That’s what I thought, Kitty, especially after reading the second hint. My aunt had some spherical glass floats, about four or five inches in diameter in her apartment for decor.

  2. Floats. We used to find the occasional glass float that had come over across the ocean from Japan and that region. One of my first jobs was to paint the burned in numbers on our crab trap floats, always wanting to do the burning of the numbers instead. Big day when I got to do the burning AND the painting.

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