Adze

Description
Originally 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, which were normally long and straight. The coir fibre binding that held the blade to the handle was meant to be intricate to reflect the item’s power.
When missionary influence spread in the 1820s and Cook Islanders converted to Christianity, these adzes lost their ceremonial potency and were widely collected and local specialists began making them for sale as curios. This item is a late development and was likely produced post-1820.
Accession Loan No.
33/1953/8a
Collection Class
Religion and magic
Common Name
adze
Simple Name
adze
Full Name
ceremonial adze
Dimensions
whole length 410 mm; blade length 160 mm
Production Year High
1953
Production County
Mangaia
Production Country
Cook Islands
Production Area Region
Polynesia
Production Continent
Oceania
Family Group

Material
wood; basalt; coconut fibre
Function Name
tool
Collection Area Region
POLYN
Collection Continent
Pacific

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