Toki; RA2019.239



About this object

Dark blackish coloured stone Toki with lighter flecks of golden brown.

Toki (adzes) were used for many tasks. Large heavy stone toki were used for heavy roughing-out work, medium sized toki were used for shaping beams, canoe-hulls etc. and small, light stone toki were used for finishing work and to put a fine surface on dressed timbers.
To make toki (adzes), boulders were broken up and the selected piece was shaped by striking flakes off the edges with hammer stones. A cutting edge bevel was on one side only similar to a European chisel. The final step was to polish the adze and sharpen the cutting edge by rubbing it back and forth on a wet grinding stone (hōanga) – a time-consuming task.
The stone was then lashed to a haft or handle with the blade at less than a right angle to the haft. These hafts were made from tree branches or bone, sometimes human bone, and lashed with three-ply braided flax fibre.
It is less common to find a complete toki with haft as the materials were quicker to deteriorate than stone.

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