Large Canoe Building Basalt Adze, Hawaiian Islands
length 10in (25.5cm)
koi, of trapezoidal form with a smooth top surface and undulating bottom surface illustrative of the ancient manufacture; smooth black patina.
Discovered at "Pine Trees", a local surf spot at Kona, Hawai'i
Private Collection, Honolulu
cf. Summers (1999: pp 55-58) for related examples.
Stone adzes were the most important wood-cutting tool in pre-contact Hawaii. Canoes, of course, were vital for the Hawaiians, both for war and peaceful transport.
The adze presented here is a superb, rare example of ancient Hawaiian technology, most likely pre-contact and probably quarried from Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, Hawaii's largest mountain and largest source of basalt.