Polynesian Stone Tools

*****Before we start looking at the stone tools of Polynesia, I would like to point out that stone tools are not necessarily crudely formed, primitive inventions. In fact the stone tool artisans of Polynesia took the art of tool making far beyond that achieved by other Neolithic cultures, the tool then becoming a work of art, an inspired and perfected creation that was also empowered with supernatural forces. Today we can still marvel at these perfected works of art which appear to be tools and yet in fact may have served a more ceremonial function. By the time the Polynesians had started to settle New Zealand, say nearly 1000 years ago, their stone tool craftsmanship had already reached a high level, a blend of art and function that then further evolved with the adoption of new methods and the availability of new materials. Perhaps even before this time one can imagine a school of master craftsmen who strove to make tools of perfect form, so thoroughly finished that today they appear to the uninitiated as machine made.

The Duff Type 1 Variety A ('horned' adze) an artisanal pinnacle

Horned 1A

*****This particular Tubuai example (length = 19.8 cm) was found on Parcelle #366 TAPUTAPUATEA and although much perfected is not alone in the Tubuai collection, see Comparative Diagram cmpt-1Aa.jpg for an illustration of two more well made Tubuai examples (shown at 50% scale).

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