A TOKI ADZE, MANGAIA ISLANDS, COOK ISLANDS
The stone adzes were secured to their wooden hafts by means of fine sinnet, itself esteemed divine. It was fabled that the peculiar way in which the natives of Mangaia fasten their axes was originally taught to them by the gods. A famous god, named Tanemataariki, Tane-of-the-royal-face, was considered enshrined in a sacred triple axe. Tane-of-the-royal-face was one of the very few much-represented gods not surrendered to the missionaries but hidden in caves.
This adze has a true ceremonial flat blade, which usually suggests a date in the early post contact period, for the supply high quality blades quickly ended.
Origin: Mangaia Islands, 82 cm. Good condition, some fractures at the binding.
Wood, Basalt and vegetable fiber, End of 19th, beginning of 20th Century.
Price: € 3.500