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Cook Islands Ceremonial Adze,

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RTCFA No. OC 0044
Cook Islands Ceremonial Adze,
Artist: Unknown
Wood, sennit and stone adze head, 30.75 x 14 x 1.75 in. (78.1 x 35.5 x 4.4 cm).

Geographic Location: Central Polynesia
Region: Polynesia
Group / Tribe: Cook Islands

Description: The Cook Islands are comprised of fifteen islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Cook Islands ceremonial adzes hail from the island of Mangaia, and often utilize stone blades of pre-contact origin. The blades were highly prized for their reverse triangular design and fine finishing. The wooden handles were elaborately carved with a double-K motif. The stone blade was lashed to the carved handle with hand-made plaited sennit. The construction and use of these ornate adzes ended after missionary contact.


*Coe wrote:* The blade is 18th century, pre contact wood shaft and the binding is from 1830 or earlier. From an old New England collection....The stone used for Mangaia ceremonial adzes were highly prized for their reverse triangular design and fine finishing. The wooden handles were elaborately carved with a double-K motif, represented the total abstration of a human figure. The stone blade was lashed to the carved handle with hand made plaited sennet. The construction and use of these ornate adzes ended after missionary contact. <%include Links.Imagev3(class='floatleft,caption='Detail')%> Detail.