This hafted stone adze is from the highlands of New Guinea. The adze was made and used in the recent past.
This adze is lashed into place with strips of bark, with fibre string added over the top. A strip of split cane was woven into the bark lashing, perhaps as decoration. The stone was first flaked to shape followed by grinding to round the lateral edges and created the cutting edge. The adze is flat in cross-section, which is common among Dani people. An anthropologist working with the South Baliem Valley Dani observed a similar hafted flat stone adze being used to split apart pandanus fruits.
Adzes were hafted with the cutting edge at a right angle to the handle, in contrast to axes, which were hafted with the cutting edge parallel to the handle. People in the central and western parts of New Guinea continue to make and use stone axes and adzes, although the introduction of metal tools has impacted traditional stone-using practices. Stone adze- and axe-hafting in New Guinea can be divided into two types. Mortise axes involve inserting the axe directly into a mortise (hole) in the handle, or inserting into the mortise a sleeve or clamp which holds the axe. The second type involves binding the axe directly onto a bent-wood handle, and a variant of the second type involved binding a clamp onto a bent-wood handle. The adze in this model is of the second type, without a clamp. It is a common hafting method for axes and adzes made in the New Guinea highlands.