Type:  Stone Adze

Location: Langda, Papua New Guinea



MoST ID: 2651

Pedestal Link: https://une.pedestal3d.com/r/jUjbBzJXBo

Model Author:  Emma Watt

This elongated andesite stone adze was made in the recent past in the Langda Village region of New Guinea, by Una stoneworkers.  Langda adzes have a distinctive elongated shape and triangular cross section and were made by hard-hammer direct percussion using hammerstones of different sizes.  They continued to be made and used through the 1990s.

Langda adze blanks were mostly bifacial, but sometimes flakes were struck off the prominent ridge down the centre of one face, creating a trifacial blank.  The adze blanks were made by male specialist stoneworkers.  Exceptionally large flake blanks were first made at the stone quarries on the side of  the local river.  These were shaped into roughed-out adze blanks there, before carrying them to a field hut on a terrace above the river.  There the blanks were refined by further flaking, using hammerstones of different sizes and hardness.  Women carry the refined blanks back to the village in a carrying net slung over the back with a loop around the forehead.  At the village, final retouching was carried out and the cutting edge was ground on one end.  Grinding extended to the faces and edges of the blank, although the flake scars were not entirely eliminated.  The unground scars were sometimes filled with red ochre pigment to enhance the asthetics of the tool.  The finished stone adze was lashed with lengths of split cane directly to a wood handle cut from the trunk and side branch of a small tree.  The Langda adzes were widely traded to groups that lacked suitable stone, and were used to chop down trees to clear land for gardens.