A Note on Hawaiian Stone Axes

  • Jennifer G. Kahn
  • Thomas S. Dye
Keywords: Hawai‘i, axe, adze, classification


As part of a project to describe and classify more than 800 Hawaiian stone adzes held in the ethnographic and archaeological collections at Bishop Museum in Honolulu, 11 finely-finished, double-beveled stone tools, which resemble modern axe or hatchet blades, were identified and described. These 11 axes were surprising finds in the collection because double-beveled stone tools have been reported as absent in Hawai‘i and in the Duff typology are restricted to heavy, crudely-finished tools commonly recovered in Mangareva but not found elsewhere in Polynesia. Building on the replication experiments carried out by Turner and her colleagues in New Zealand, it is suggested that stone tools in Hawai‘i and elsewhere in Polynesia be classified functionally, rather than grouped according to the type/variety system devised by Duff.
How to Cite
Kahn, J. and Dye, T. (2015) “A Note on Hawaiian Stone Axes”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 6(1), pp. 18-25. Available at: https://pacificarchaeology.org/index.php/journal/article/view/161 (Accessed: 3August2020).