From Mangaia Is, in the southern region of the Cook Is, east of Tahiti.
Early 19th Century
These axes are thought to be ceremonial in purpose.It has an intricately carved handles in fine geometric designs, with a graceful curve. The stone axehead has a fluid, sculptural form, that is bound to the shaft with fine sennit ( coconut ) fibre. These axes are said to symbolize one of the aspects of the god, Tane, as a patron of woodworking and carpenters. Polynesian religion and mythology placed great emphasis on nature; Tane is the Polynesian god of light, and the forests and trees.
This is one of the earlier Mangaia axes; later in the 19th Century they became elaborated into pedestal-type handles with openwork carving, that were probably made for trade to Europeans.
Size: 78 cm