Skip to content
  • 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission
  • Shop

We are no longer updating this page and it is not optimised for mobile devices.

You are in site section: Explore

Adze blade toki pounamu

Adze blade toki pounamu

Place: New Zealand
Category: Tools

greenstone, New Zealand, l. 12.5 cm, w. 6.3 cm, Inv. Oz 287

Humphrey No. 213: ‘An adze made of the poenammoo Stone (see No. 58 [a kind of jasper or Nephritic Stone]) from New Zealand.’

Blade made of light-coloured greenstone. Corresponds to the type 2 B according to Davidson (1984: 93-100), with four-edged cross-section and without shoulder neck.

Adzes with greenstone blades were the most highly valued, serving as a sign of rank and sometimes also being used as weapons (Best 1912: 17). They were attached to richly decorated shafts and embellished with tufts of dog hair and red feathers from the kaka bird (Nestor occidentalis). Markus Schindlbeck


Best, Elsdon, The Stone Implements of the Maori, Dominion Museum Bulletin 5, Wellington, 1912.

Davidson, Janet, The Prehistory of New Zealand, Auckland, 1984.

Return to Top