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

Chisel whao, purupuru

Chisel whao,


Place: New Zealand
Category: Tools

greenstone, New Zealand, l. 6 cm, w. 1.2 cm, Inv. Oz 290

Humphrey No. 216: ‘A Chissel formed of the poenammoo Stone, from ditto [New Zealand].’

Adze blade or chisel, perhaps also a pendant, made of greenstone. Corresponds to the type 6 according to Davidson (1984: 94), with rounded cross-section and narrow cutting edge.

Cook said of the chisel: ‘Their small tools of jaspar, which are used in finishing their nices work, they use till they are blunt, and then, as they have no means of sharpening them, throw them away’ (Hawkesworth 1773, III: 464). Markus Schindlbeck


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

Hawkesworth, John, An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere performed by Byron, Wallis, Carteret and Cook, 3 vols, London, 1773.

Return to Top