adze (ceremonial adze)


Adzes of this kind were a form of god image, possibly related to Tane-mata-ariki. The stone blades were not only tools, but also exchange valuables. Often the blades predate the handles. When missionary influence spread in the 1820s and Cook Islanders converted to Christianity, these adzes were widely collected and local specialists began making them for sale as curios.

This object is not on display.

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