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Volume 30, 1897
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What Stone Implements were used for.

The principal use of stone implements was working wood. Flakes were used for making holes, for sharpening the points of fish-spears, and as saws in wood-carving. The perforators or drills were sometimes simple flakes that happened to have a sharp point, but most of them have been subsequently trimmed. These have been mistaken for spear-heads*, or arrow-heads, For sharpening spears a hollow was knocked out on one side, making what are called “notched” or “hol-

[Footnote] * Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xii., p. 152.

[Footnote] † Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xiii., p. 436.

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lowed” flakes. The saws are serrated by blows generally delivered on one side only, and the Maori never attained to such a high state of art as the neolithic European. These saws were probably used for cutting bone as well as wood; Rubbers of sandstone and pumice were used for smoothing down the marks of the adze. Polishers of fine-grained hard stone were used for burnishing spears and other wooden weapons. They are long in shape, and either circular or semicircular in section. Wood-carvers are flakes ground to a sharp edge. Chisels were also used for carving; they are long in shape, and with a sharp-ground edge. The small nephrite chisels were mounted in a straight handle, and used with a wooden mallet.

The most important implements are those called axes or adzes, but all of them were hafted as adzes. Most of the socalled axes are elliptical, with flat sides, in section, but some are simply elliptical, and a good many are rectangular in transverse section; none are meniscoid or lens-shaped in cross-section, such as commonly occurs in Melanesian stone adzes. The smaller axes are called panahe, the moderate-sized ones toki, and the larger ones kapu. It is these that the Europeans generally call adzes. They are straight or curved longitudinally, and often have a kind of handle worked on them by battering, for the lashing. Three different kinds may be distinguished: (1) Broad adzes, which are rectangular in cross-section, broader than thick, and the cutting-edge long and straight; (2) narrow adzes, which are triangular in section, thicker than broad, and the cutting-edge less than the thickness; (3) curved adzes, which are generally round in cross-section, or round with flat sides, and the cutting-edge is curved like a gouge. The second kind of adze is an essentially Maori production, but the third somewhat resembles adzes from the Solomon Islands. Wedges were used for splitting wood. No doubt the tokis were often so used, but some of them, with flat butts and the edge equally ground on both sides, may be safely distinguished as wedges.

Hammers.—Probably pieces of wood were generally used, but there is in the Museum an implement on which a handle for lashing has been worked, but the opposite end has been ground flat. It was found with a Maori skeleton in the sandhills on the Sumner Road.

The stone implements used in warfare were the mere and the patu, both of which are well known. They are distinguished by having a small hole through the handle end. This hole was formed by a drill armed with a quartz crystal, and the process has been described by Mr. F. Chapman.* The

[Footnote] * Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xxiv., p. 497, &c.

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flax which was intended to form the mats called kotowai was prepared by pounding with short thick stone pestles, while a long narrow stone pestle was used for pounding hinau-berries in a wooden mortar. Scrapers for cleaning kumaras and knives for cutting flax, large fish, &c., were simple flakes, not trimmed in any way. Obsidian flakes were used for cutting their own flesh when mourning, and also for cutting the hair. For the latter process another stone was necessary to cut against; these are either cylindrical or flat. Stone sinkers were used for nets, and occasionally pumice was employed for floats. Canoe-anchors were large stones, with a groove round them for the rope.