Object of the week: toki (adze)

This toki (adze), made from Argillite, was found in the Hurleyville district. Toki were originally a practical tool employed in axes, chisels and weaponry. They were also used in toki poutangata, a purely ceremonial taonga (treasure) wielded by the leader in the tribe with the most importance. The new age understanding of the design is that it represents strength and courage. This is because it had to be strong so as not to break when being used as a tool, and because only strong important individuals wielded the toki poutangata in traditional Maori society.

If you have information about this artefact contact the Museum on 0800 111 323 or museum@stdc.govt.nz, Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki Heritage Collection 1979.001.1.

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