The Stone Implements of the Maori
C.—Details of the Methods of Stone Drilling or Boring, — and Evidence on the Subject of the Kind of Drill Used — in New Zealand Before the Arrival of Europeans
C.—Details of the Methods of Stone Drilling or Boring,
and Evidence on the Subject of the Kind of Drill Used
in New Zealand Before the Arrival of Europeans
Shortland seems to be the only authority who speaks of the drilling and grooving of nephrite as having been done simply with a stick, sand, and water, without any stone point being affixed to the stick. To judge from the evidence of other authorities, and of explanations made by natives, it was not a common method of drilling or boring stone implements. In America and some European lands it seems to have been done to a considerable extent. The American Indians were much cleverer than the Maori in drilling stone. Some American specimens of jasper beads or hollow tubes are 3 in. long, and less than ⅜ in. diameter, but have been drilled longitudinally, with a hole half the thickness of the stone, throughout their entire length. Mr. T. Wilson, in his "Prehistoric Art," says, "Tubes from which a core has been drilled out by means of a reed and sand, revolved by the hand, were done as neatly as anything can be done, the reason being that the object was entirely drilled from end to end." Both in Europe and America hollow drills were used by primitive peoples. Some stone tubes, 1 in. in diameter and up to 14 in. in length, have been drilled their entire length, while a hole more than one-half their diameter, and all from one end. Some astonishing examples of stone-tube drilling done in this manner were seen by Humboldt in the Rio Negro region of South America. Bates also mentions it as being done in the valley of the Amazon. In North page 73America the two methods—by twirling and by using a stone-pointed drill—seem to have been employed by Indians. Dr. C. C. Abbott, in his "Stone Age in New Jersey," states that some drilled stones there found show that a drill having a back-and-forth motion was employed, probably the bow drill or pump drill.
The method of drilling stone with a reed or piece of wood twirled between the hands, and used with sand and water, seems to have been unknown to the Maori.
We have never seen the hand-twirled drill among the Maoris, but there is a remarkable passage in Nicholas's "New Zealand" wherein he describes Hongi as using that form of drill whereby to generate fire: "He then got some dry grass and a piece of rotten wood, and, turning a small stick rapidly between his hands in the same manner as we mill chocolate, the friction caused the touchwood, in which the point of the wood was inserted, to take fire; while wrapping it up in the dry grass and shaking it backwards and forwards, he very soon produced a flame." The "fire-plough" is the only method of generating fire we know as having been employed by the Maori, and no other observer seems to have noted this twirling process. The above form of drill is termed the "palm drill" by some writers. It was employed as a means of generating fire among far-scattered peoples, and would appear to be less primitive than the "fire-plough" of the Maori people.
Te Whatahoro informs us that a small palm drill was also used for a few special purposes, such as smoothing the inside of holes or depressions, as in making a heitiki. This was the orthodox palm drill, rolled between the palms of the hands. The holes for suspension in heitiki and other pendants were carefully smoothed by this means, so as to remove any asperities that might chafe the suspending cord.
In the account of the short sojourn of D'Entrecasteaux's vessels near the East Cape, in 1793, we read, "Several of these (fishing) lines were of great length, and had at the end a piece of hard serpentine, to make them sink very deep in the water. We admired the fine polish they had given this stone, which was of a spherical form, surmounted with a small protuberance in which they had made a hole to pass a string through. It must be very difficult to these savages to bore a stone of such hardness, and no doubt requires a great deal of time."
According to early writers on Maori subjects, the natives of New Zealand apparently used only one form of drill in boring stone—viz., the cord drill, an excellent illustration of which appears in Shortland's "Southern Districts of New Zealand," save that it page 74shows the cord wrongly twisted. Thomson, in his "Story of New Zealand," vol. i, page 203, says, "Captain Cook could not ascertain how holes were bored in the handles of greenstone mere, as he saw no instrument sufficiently hard for that purpose. It is now known that these holes are drilled with a sharp wooden stick, 10 in. long, to the centre of which two stones are attached, so as to exert pressure and perform the office of a fly-wheel. The requisite rotatory motion is given to the stick by two strings pulled alternately."
Shortland, in his "Southern Districts of New Zealand," page 37, states, "Mr. Banks and Captain Cook also expressed their wonder by what process this (the fashioning of implements from nephrite) was done, as they found the stone so hard as to resist the force of iron. But sandstone will cut it as readily as it does iron; and holes are drilled through it with the aid of a little fine hard sand and water, and a sharp-pointed stick, by a simple process which is described in another place." At that other place—to wit, page 117 of his work—he says, "Here also I saw the drill with which the holes are bored through this stone. It is formed by means of a straight stick, 10 in. or 12 in. long, and two stones of equal weight, which are fastened about its central point, one on either side opposite each other, so as to perform the office of the fly-wheel in machinery and to exert the required pressure. One end of the stick, or, as we may call it, 'shaft' of the instrument, is applied to the pounamu (nephrite) where the hole is to be bored. Near the other end are tied two strings of moderate length. One of these is wound round the shaft, close to the point of its attachment, and the extremity of the other string is held in the other hand. A motion is now given by pulling on the former string, which, as it unwinds, causes the instrument to revolve, and the other string becomes coiled round the shaft; this is then pulled on with a similar result; and so the motion is kept up by alternately pulling on either string. The point of the instrument can thus be made to twirl round, backwards and forwards, as rapidly as the point of a drill moved by a bow; and merely requires to be constanly supplied with a little fine hard sand and water in order to eat its way through the pounamu (nephrite) or other stone, on which steel would make no impression." It will be observed that there is in the above description no mention of a stone point as being attached to the drill-shaft. All other authorities mention this point of. stone as being lashed on to the lower end of the shaft. Natives of nine different tribes have assured us that a stone point was always used.
In Plate XLV are shown three cord drills that are in the Dominion Museum. The one to the left is a crude form of implement. The shaft page 75is simply a round stick, from which the bark has been removed, but it has not been fashioned in any way, save that the lower extremity has been flattened on one side to accommodate the stone point, and grooved slightly on the other side to accommodate the lashing. The stone point is a triangular piece of flint-like stone scarcely 1 in. in length, and seems to be butted against a shoulder on the shaft. The shaft is 1 ft. 7 in. long and ⅝ in. thick. The two wooden cross-pieces which supply the place of a fly-wheel have been grooved transversely in order to accommodate the round shaft. The two cords are two-strand dressed Phormium fibre, or, rather, one cord has been tied in the middle round the shaft and the two ends left free. The drill in the centre has been much more carefully made. The wooden shaft, which is 1 ft. 2 in. in length, has been neatly fashioned, being rounded above the wheel, and produced to a point at the top. The lower part is square. The two lower cross-pieces, or spokes, of the fly-wheel have been let into the shaft to a slight extent, but not the two upper ones. The wheel is a piece of aka (stem of climbing-plant) neatly fashioned and joined. In attaching the four cross-pieces their ends have been bent outwards and fitted into small grooves on the upper part of the wheel, and there lashed; the tension thus produced apparently adds to the stability of the concern. All lashings are of dressed Phormium fibre. The flint point is butted against a shoulder on the shaft, and securely lashed. The specimen to the right is precisely similar to the central figure, save that it is smaller and lighter, and must have been used for light work only—as in the manufacture of fish-hooks, &c.
Mr. Chapman quotes a description of the cord drill of the Maori (contributed by Mr. White) in his paper; "The drill used to make the hole in a mere was made with kiripaka (quartz, &c.) and ure-onetea (a stone). These were broken into spike-like shapes and placed in the end of split wood (drill-spindle), and tied tightly, the upper end of this wood being placed in a block of wood placed in position to receive it. Two stones were tied to the upper end of the drill. The kiripaka (stone point) being placed on the mere (nephrite implement to be bored) where the hole was to be made, a string was wrapped round the drill (shaft) above the stones and next to the block of wood. The ends of the string were pulled, first one and then the other, thus giving a rotatory motion to the drill." The rest of his description is but a repetition of other quotations. Mr. White is not very clear in his account of the drill, and does not explain the purport of the block of wood. It seems to have been too high up the shaft to have been intended for a fly-wheel and if it was a cap or head-piece for the shaft, the manner of its use is left to the imagination.page 76
We have lately been fortunate in the discovery of Mr. White's description of this usage in his unpublished manuscript, which is here given. It is somewhat unfortunate that no information is given as to which tribe or tribes used this peculiar form of drill, but it was probably used by the northern tribes (Nga-Puhi or Ngati-Whatua probably), whence came much of Mr. White's collection of ethno-graphical and other matter. It will be noted that the principle is essentially that of the cord drill, but that the insertion of the upper end of the shaft in a hole in a stationary cap-beam greatly facilitated the work of boring, inasmuch as it was not necessary for the operator to balance the drill-shaft by means of dexterous manipulation of the cords affixed thereto, as was commonly done by the Maori.
The illustration given of this drill-arrangement explains itself fairly well. Two stout wooden pegs or stakes were inserted in the ground in an upright position. Across these was lashed in a horizontal position another piece of timber that had a hole made in it about half-way between the two uprights. This hole in the wooden bar was not, apparently, pierced through it, but was merely a cup-hole, in which the pointed upper-end of the drill-shaft was inserted, and in which it revolved when the operator worked the drill. (See diagram below.)
The drill-shaft was of hard wood, and its upper end was pointed or bevelled off so as to fit into the cup-like hole in the lower part of the cross-bar. The lower end of the shaft was split in order to insert the stone point, or drill, which was secured therein by means of lashing with a cord made of flax (Phormium) fibre. The stones known as ure-onetea, kiripaka, or pahu-tane were used in the manufacture page 77 of the drill-points, such points being chipped into the desired form. In lieu of a fly-wheel, two small, rounded, but heavy stones, known as wi (? ironstone), were secured to the shaft as weights. These stones were placed in a sort of net, each in a separate one, and one lashed on to either side of the shaft. The stone implement to be bored was laid on the ground below the bar, so that the spot where the hole was to be bored in it came immediately below the cup-hole in the cross-bar. The mere or other item to be bored was kept in position by means of pegs driven into the ground. The drill was then placed in position, the upper end inserted in the hole in the cross-bar, and the stone point on the lower end was placed on that part of the implement to be operated on whereat the hole was to be bored. It is not explained that any provision was made to keep the drill-point on the right spot at the commencement of the task, but we know that in many cases a small hole or depression was first made by pecking or hand-boring for this purpose. To operate the drill a piece of cord of flax-fibre was used, with the middle part of which one or two turns were made round the shaft above the stone weights, thus leaving the two ends of the cord free. One of these was held in either hand by the operator. The shaft was caused to revolve primarily by means of being twirled by hand, and then, by pulling the strings alternately, the shaft was kept revolving back and forth, the stone weights imparting considerable impetus thereto. To assist the process, pieces of a stone called mataikona were pounded and pulverized to provide grit, with which the drilled hole was kept supplied, together with a little water. The hole was drilled from both sides so as to make it more sightly. If bored from one side only the mouth of the drill-hole would be large and unsightly. This is caused by the drill-point being worn down by use.
It is probable that in drilling small items, such as ear-pendants, these were not placed on the ground, but on a bed or block of some kind. Also in boring a deep hole it would probably be necessary to raise the item bored as the hole deepened, in order to prevent the lowering of the shaft and the consequent loosening of the head thereof in the hole in the cross-bar. Mr. White terms this drill a pirori.
Hare Hetiti informs us that the Ngati-Maniapoto Tribe use a drill with a loose cap. This cap is a wooden one, and has the hole in which the upper end of the shaft is inserted. The cap is held and pressed by one person, while another manipulates the drill by pulling a double cord, one end in either hand, as the ordinary cord drill is worked. We cannot look upon Hare as a good authority on pre-European usages. When questioned anent other old implements and their use he confessed his ignorance thereof.page 78
In the Dominion Museum is a dressed stone item that may have been used as a cap or head-piece for a drill-shaft, as described by Hetiti, though it seems heavy and clumsy for that purpose, and, if so used, must have been held in place by an assistant. This item is a stone disc 7½ in. in diameter and 2½ in. thick. It is formed of a coarse-grained micaceous stone, and has been roughly dressed into a circular form, with all edges much rounded. In the middle, on both sides, are circular holes or depressions, but the stone is not quite pierced. These holes are cone-shaped, and it is thought that the stone may possibly have been used as a cap for a drill, against which theory may be mentioned the weight (8½ lb.) and size of the stone. It would certainly be a clumsy cap, and much heavier than there was any necessity for, inasmuch as the boring of a hole in the stone hand-weapons, patu and mere, was about the heaviest drilling-task performed by the Maori. There is also another point: why should there be two such holes in the stone, one on either side? It is possible that the intention was to pierce a hole through the stone for some purpose, the task being left uncompleted. This item was found at the Carrick Range, Otago, in 1872.
Mr. Colenso remarks that the drill was called moa, as also pirori, and that the former word was also a name for a certain kind of stone or for a layer or stratum of stone. We quote from his paper on the moa (Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xii, p. 93), as follows: "The word moa is also used for (1) that peculiar kind of boring instrument or drill with which the old Maoris quickly bored the hardest substances known to them, as the green jade stone, the thick part of a common black bottle, &c. This little instrument was also by some tribes called a pirori Mr. C. E. Nelson gave horete as a name for the drill. We have received no corroboration of the above two terms.
Mr. Chapman quotes another remark made by Shortland: "Holes are drilled by a drill of native invention, the grinding apparatus being a sharp-pointed stick of soft wood, sand (fine, and of a biting quality)," "and water" is understood.
It will be noted that three ways of exerting pressure and adding momentum to the drill were employed: (1) By lashing two stones to the shaft (see diagram on p. 82); (2) by attaching a wooden fly-wheel to the shaft (see Plate XLV); (3) by lashing two horizontal parallel pieces of wood to the shaft (see Plate XLV). So far, we have no evidence that the horizontal wooden attachment and fly-wheel were weighted with stones. Native correspondents deny that they were so weighted; they were substitutes for the stones. The bone fly-wheel mentioned by Major Heaphy seems to have been a local variation of the second method.page 79
Shortland saw the process of working greenstone among the natives of the southern part of the South Island. The Rev. Mr. Wohlers, who describes the drill used in the district bordering on Foveaux Strait, states that the stone point was there used. (See Mr. Chapman's paper, page 519: "To bore a hole, or to make fine depressions, he has a wooden staff about 18 in. or 2 ft. long. At the lower end is fastened a sharp splinter of a hard stone; in the middle of the staff is fastened a small fly-wheel; round the upper end he winds a cord, and holds the two ends of the same, one in each hand. Now, while comfortably sitting, and the greenstone being fastened below him with the sharp end of the bore (drill-point) upon it, he skilfully balances the latter in an upright position, and, as he draws alternately with his hands, the tool revolves in fast motions forwards and backwards.")
Quoting from Major Heaphy's "Journal of an Expedition down the West Coast of the South Island," Mr. Chapman says, "The most difficult part of the work is to drill the hole for a thong in the handle (of a nephrite weapon). For this, pieces of sharp flint are obtained from the Pahutani cliff, forty miles to the north, and are set in the end of a split stick, being lashed in very neatly. The stick is about 15 in. or 18 in. long, and is to become the spindle of a large teetotum drill. For the circular plate (fly-wheel) of this instrument the hardened intervertebral cartilage (epiphysis) of a whale is taken. A hole is made through, and the stick firmly and accurately fixed in it. Two strings are then attached to the upper end of the stick, and by pulling them a rapid rotatory motion is given to the drill. When an indentation is once made in the stone the work is easy. As each flint (drill-point) becomes blunted it is replaced by another in the stick, until the work is done." This place-name of "Pahutani" seems a doubtful form. Taylor's "Pahu-tane" sounds better, or it may be "Pahu-tangi."
In the account of Messrs. Brunner and Heaphy's expedition down the West Coast, we read, "At Pahutani there is a stratum in the secondary limestone rock containing pure flints, which I believe are not to be found in any other part of New Zealand, presents of this stone being carried by the natives to all parts of the islands, as the material for boring the greenstone."
Of the Taramakau natives, the above account says, "The inmates of each house were busily engaged in making mere and ear-pendants of greenstone, for trade or presents to the northward. They saw the slab with a piece of micaslate, wet, and afterwards polish it with a fine sandy limestone which they obtain in the vicinity. The hole is drilled with a stick, pointed with a piece of pahutani flint. The page 80process does not appear so tedious as has been supposed, a month sufficing, apparently, for the completion of a mere out of the rough but appropriately shapen slab."
Of the Arahura River the account says, "In its bed, after freshets, is found the pounamu in shingles and slabs, and the material of the mere which we saw making at the village was from this place."
Mr. Chapman makes the following remarks anent the information he acquired as to the drill for boring stone: "The description of the drill is singularly interesting. The fly-wheel was originally a couple of very heavy stones, of which I have several in my collection. Mr. White's description suggests the top of the drill-spindle working in a drill head or mouthpiece. Mr. Wohlers makes it work without this support. Whether the primitive Maoris ever had a mouthpiece is doubtful; to any one who has used a drill it would seem incredible that a man who had once used one should ever try and work a drill without one."
Mr. Chapman also explains how the primitive cord drill used by the Maoris was supported merely by balancing it, as it was worked by pulling the cords, the spindle not being confined in any cap, or held or supported in any other way. He also states that Mr. Watt taught the natives of Taranaki the use of the bird-cage drill,* where-upon they at once abandoned the primitive drill they had formerly used, which was identical with the balanced drill described by Mr. Wohlers.
* This bird-cage drill is the pump drill of other writers.
The statement made by the Rev. Taylor in regard to a perforated piece of wood being placed on a block of stone when drilling operations commenced is perfectly correct, although it does not appear to have been used in all districts. Te Whatahoro, of Wai-rarapa, explains that there were two methods or processes of drilling practised in former times by the natives—one by means of using such a guide, and one without such aid. In the latter case a piece of hard stone was chipped to a dull or obtuse point at one end, and used as we use a bradawl, by hand, in order to drill a small hole in the stone. This hole was termed the tarnarua, a name that was not applied to the hole made by the cord drill. When deemed sufficiently deep the hand drill was discarded and the cord drill employed, the stone point thereof being inserted in the tamarua. In the guide method the stone to be bored was fixed on the top of a block of wood resting on the ground. A flat piece of wood, termed a paparangi, with a hole pierced in it, was placed over the stone item to be bored, being arranged so that the hole was exactly over the spot where the stone was to be drilled. The ends of the paparangi projected out for some distance on either side of the stone, and it was secured and rendered firm by pegs being driven into the ground on either side, to which pegs the board was lashed. The hole in the paparanginow served as a guide for the drill, the stone point of which was inserted in the hole. The operator could now work away with his drill, knowing that the point would be confined to the one spot. This first paparangi was but a thin one with a small hole, but after the work had progressed somewhat it was replaced by one with a bigger hole. This was retained for a while, and at a more advanced stage of the work it also was discarded, and a third one arranged for use. This third and final guide, known as the matua, was composed of four pieces of wood. Two of these were laid across the stone item so that their edges corresponded vertically with the edges of the hole bored in the stone. On the top of these, two more such flat pieces of wood were placed crosswise in a similar manner, so that they formed a square hole, in which the drill was placed, and the wooden sides of which served as a guide to keep the drill in position. The work now progressed more rapidly, and the work of manipulating the drill was easier. The depth of this paparangi was 3 in. or 4 in. This was the third and final stage of drilling by this method. It denoted progress in the work, and approaching completion. Holes bored by this method were much straighter and more sightly than those drilled without the use of the paparangi, or guiding apparatus. A person page 82might inquire, "Kei te pehea te wiri a meet?" (How is So-and-so's drilling progressing?) and one would reply, "E! Me korero, kua eke hoki kei te matua" (O! famously, they have reached the use of the matua, or final paparangi). The shaft was kept steady, without wobbling, by this final apparatus.
Te Whatahoro furnishes us with some additional notes on the drill of former times, as follows: The shaft of a drill is known as the turuki. Properly speaking, ore is a verb, meaning "to bore." "I pewhea te mahi i te mea na?" (How was this thing done?) "E, i ored" (O, it was bored). Hence it should not be used as a name for a drill-shaft, as it is sometimes done.
No cap was used on the head of the shaft among the east-coast peoples, nor was any drill used without a stone point. The thigh drill (worked horizontally by rolling on the thigh) was unknown, and no handles were secured to the ends of the drill-cords (as among the Eskimo). The drill-hole was not, as a rule, started in a shallow hole formed by picking, the guide process being common. Boring was always done from both sides. Small items to be bored were firmly secured in grooves or beds formed in a block of wood.
The two hand-cords of the drill were termed aho rere. The bottom of the turuki, or shaft, was grooved to receive the stone boring-point. This stone was butted up against the end of the end of the groove. (See figure, which depicts a drill in the Auckland Museum, showing page 83stone weights. Extra sketches show the popoia and mata, or point, as described by Whatahoro.)
Stone weights, termed popoia, were sometimes attached to the shaft of the cord drill, being lashed to either side of the shaft at a relatively higher position than the popoia of the mata ripi, ox bradawl-like implement, described below. These weights were stones about 4 in. long, of about equal weight, and carefully worked into the desired form, being flattened on one side. Across this flattened side a groove was formed to receive the drill-shaft, so that the two stones fitted over the shaft (turuki) in such a manner that their faces almost met outside the shaft, sufficient space being left wherein to insert some soft packing, which consisted of pieces of the thin inner bark of the houhi tree (lace-bark) cut to the proper size. This packing was placed between the two stone-faces, and the stones were lashed together and secured to the shaft with strong lashing-cord (aho takaa). A lashing-cord is usually termed a kaha, but that used for securing these weights is always alluded to as an aho. So secured, the popoia were immovable.
In some cases these weights were made of heavy hard wood, as ake or maire, and in a few cases nephrite has been used. The soft packing between the stones assisted in rendering them immovable. In some cases the upper part of the turuki, or shaft, was adorned with bunches of red feathers of the parrot, or those of the parrakeet (kakariki). No stone or wooden discs were used as popoia in former times. The Europeans introduced the use of the disc.
Triangular pieces of flint-like stone used in boring wood were called mata ripi. House-posts and other items were bored with such tools. These three-cornered pieces of stone were lashed to wooden handles, and manipulated as we use a bradawl. In some cases stone weights (popoia) were lashed to the shafts, as in the case of the cord drill, in order to accelerate its action.
The Rev. T. G. Hammond, of Patea, remarks: "The stone termed pairata is a common jasper or flint, and is common all along the coast. The splinters formed points for the pirori, or drill. With the aid of water and the black sand, these flint splinters were made to drill holes through the ear-ornaments and the handles of the stone and greenstone mere."
On meeting three elderly members of the Ngai-Tahu Tribe of the South Island lately (Messrs. T. Pratt, T. E. Green, and another), we made inquiries concerning the drill formerly used in those parts. All agreed that the cord drill was the only form known to Ngai-Tahu in pre-European times, and that the pump drill was introduced by Europeans. A circular ring-like attachment (described elsewhere), not a page 84solid disc, on the shaft served as a fly-wheel, but two stones were placed on it, against the shaft, and lashed thereto, to give additional force to the motion of the drill. They termed the implement a pirori. The bottom part of the shaft was flattened for the accommodation of the drill-point of mataa (flint), which was lashed on with a small cord made of flax-fibre. When about to be used this part was dipped in water, with the effect of causing the lashing to grip tightly. The operator often tied some moss round the lower part of the shaft, below the wheel attachment, which moss was saturated with water that trickled slowly therefrom down the shaft and stone point into the hole being drilled. Hence the operator merely had to add a little grit now and then. Before commencing operations, a small hole or depression was made with a piece of shell or stone in the item to be bored, to receive the drill-point.
It will be seen that in some parts stones only were fastened to the shaft, in others a wheel without stones, and then again the wheel with stones.
We note that in many drills in our museums the lower part of the shaft has not been flattened to accommodate the point, the result being a clumsy appearance.
We have also received the following note from the Rev. H. Williams, of Gisborne: "I questioned old Mohi Turei, of Ngati-Porou, as to the form of drill used by his tribe in pre-European times. He knows of no other form than the cord drill, worked with two cords, as having been used in former times. It had a fly-wheel made of aka, or vine. I inquired of another old fellow at Waiapu, and still another farther down the coast, and all made the same reply. You may take it as practically certain that Ngati-Poroi (tribe) did not know the pump drill. I had often wondered whether the eyes of a heitiki (image) might not have been drilled in one process, but Mohi Turei says that they were formed by drilling a series of small depressions in a ring and then working round by hand, a truly marvellous performance. I cannot recall any specimens which deviate at all appreciably from the circle in form."
A later communication from the above correspondent informs us that the old men mentioned stated that no stone weights were used on the drill-shaft in the East Cape district, the fly-wheel being a substitute therefor. Also that the pressure was regulated by the direction of the cords. In light drilling these were held in a more horizontal position than when a heavy job was in hand. This item is of interest, and has not been mentioned by other informants. "The wheel was made of aka (stem of climbing-plant) or of pirita (supple-page 85jack). Sand and water used as a triturant to facilitate the drilling…. The hard stone, karaa, found in the river-bed, was split in the fire to get a good working-edge, and these were used by hand in making the circular grooves for the eyes of a heitiki."
The cutting-powers of sand-grit, when kept moistened and subjected to a grinding pressure, circular or to and fro, is truly remarkable, and many writers have marvelled at the manner in which nephrite and other stones were bored or perforated by the Maoris. In an article on some items of native manufacture found in a cave near Sumner, Mr. Meeson says, "Some of the articles have apparently been intended for" ornament, as certain little articles shaped like the chelae of a crab or lobster, and others of the shape and size of a penny-piece with a hole through the centre, and a beautiful greenstone pendant with a hole bored through it. How this was perforated it is difficult to conceive, for even now lapidaries can only bore greenstone with diamonds, as the metals will not mark it."
This cord drill, as described above, was used for boring holes through all kinds of stone. The hole was bored from both sides, so as to meet in the middle, and the crude drill-point left two cratermouthed holes, or, as some put it, two cone-shaped holes, of which the apices met. Some have a wider mouth than others, according to the thickness of the drill-point used. There appear to be no old implements that have been drilled by any other process than the above. Had the hand-twirling process, as used in America and Europe in Neolithic times, been known and practised by the Maori, we should assuredly have some evidence thereof in holes with straight sides in some of the old implements and ornaments, so many of which may be seen in our museums.
The principal purposes for which the native drill was used consisted of drilling holes in ornaments for suspension to neck or ears, and in the handles or butt ends of stone weapons that a wrist-cord might be passed through such holes. They were also used in order to assist the work of stone-carving, as in forming grooves in the fashioning of heitiki. The stone-pointed drill was also used in the task of hollowing out a whale's tooth (rei tohora), in fashioning a flute (koauau) therefrom. Pieces of flint, chipped to sharp cuttingpoints, are also said to have been used by hand in this hollowing process. As this was the only form of drill used, it follows that longitudinal drilling, such as that of American Indians, described previously, was impossible. All implements of stone seem to have been completed, as to manufacture thereof, ere a hole was drilled in them.page 86
An irregular-shaped piece of nephrite in the possession of Mr. Brown, of the Tourist Department, shows the smallest drilled hole we have yet noted as having been formed by the crude cord drill. The stone is flat and thin, probably a spawl, and has been ground on all its surfaces, but not polished; hence the surfaces are covered with strise, and carry no sheen. It is an excellent illustration of the appearance of nephrite the surface of which has been ground only, and apparently on or with a coarse sandstone, before being polished. Its edges have been ground thin, and a hole has been bored in this very thin part, and quite close to the edge. As usual, the hole has been bored from both sides, but the mouths or external parts of the crater-shaped holes are only ⅛ in. in diameter, the hole or aperture itself being just large enough to receive the shank of a pin of ordinary size. This item, which is 2 in. long, has apparently been worn as a neck or ear pendant. It was found at Palliser Bay.
As to the lower end of the shaft or spindle of the drill being split in order that the stone point might be inserted in such cleft, in many cases this was certainly not done, but the stone point was simply lashed on to the end of the shaft. In some cases the end of the shaft seems to have been slotted or flattened in order that the point might fit it better, and be more in line with the axial centre of the shaft.
Nukutaurua natives say that a stone termed whitiwhiti, a light-coloured stone from which sparks of fire could be struck, was used wherefrom to manufacture drill-points, also that the cord drill was the only one known in pre-European times. They know the pump drill, but state that it was introduced by Europeans.
It is said that in some parts quartz crystals were used by the natives as points for their drills.
Hare Hongi, of Nga-Puhi, tells us that in his youth he saw an old native of his tribe using a bow drill (sometimes called "fiddle drill") in boring nephrite. The shaft was made of ake, a hard wood, and it had a wide counter-sunk channel formed round it, in which the bow-string worked. The stone point was triangular in form, and countersunk in the end of the shaft, where it was firmly lashed. A stone cap was used on the head of the spindle. This cap weighed about 2 lb., and a hole was formed in it, in which the top of the spindle revolved. The operator held the stone cap on the shaft or spindle with his left hand, and worked the bow with his right. No fly-wheel or substitute therefor was used, sufficient pressure being obtained by pressing the stone cap on the drill-head. The bow was simply a piece of naturally curved timber, a piece of a branch, and the apparatus was used in the usual manner of operating a bow drill, one end of the cord being fastened to an end of the bow; then, with the central part of page 87the cord a turn was taken round the shaft at the countersunk part, and the cord then stretched taut and secured to the other end of the bow. This instrument was easily worked, and the operator's left hand was free to use in holding the cap in position. The terms ore and pirori were applied to this drill. Strictly speaking, the name ore would apply to the actual boring-part of the apparatus, as the word ore means "to bore," while pirori means "to twirl" or "twirling," and is more properly applied to the motion of the instrument. The shaft of the above drill was about 18 in. long. This drill was made and used by Te Waaka Rangaunu, of Mango-nui.
Hare Hongi believes this bow drill to have been an old Maori apparatus, in use before the advent of Europeans. We are unable to obtain any evidence in support of this statement. Our notes from the east and west coasts of the North Island, and from the interior, as also from the South Island, obtained from natives, all state that the cord drill was the form used in pre-European days, with one exception—viz., a member of the Tuhoe Tribe, some of whom claim page 88 the pump drill as pre-European. The Nga-Puhi Tribe have been in contact with Europeans since the "nineties" of the eighteenth century, and it is quite possible that the idea of the bow drill was obtained from early European visitors, or by Maoris who visited Australia and Europe in the early part of the nineteenth century.
There are two forms of the bow drill, single-handed and double-handed, both of which are used by the Eskimo. In the former method the cap is held by one hand as the other works the bow; in the latter mode the cap is gripped with the teeth, and both hands are used to work the bow.
The bow drill has been used in Egypt from time immemorial, as also in many other parts of the Old World. We have no notes as to its having been a pre-European form in Polynesia, and evidence is against such an assumption.
The bow drill and the mouth drill (or cord drill with mouthpiece) seem to have been unknown to the Maori in pre-European times, and the pump drill does not appear to have been noticed by early writers. When, however, Paitini, of the Tuhoe Tribe, was asked to make a native drill some twelve years ago he made a pump drill, not the primitive cord drill above described. This man was born in the "forties" of last century, and has seen such drills used. The question is, Was the pump drill an ancient form in New Zealand, or was the knowledge of it acquired by the natives from early voyagers or traders? It would be an astonishing thing, if it was a pre-European form, that the knowledge of it had not extended to other parts of New Zealand, for we have evidence that the much more primitive and unsatisfactory cord drill was used by the natives, not only in the South Island, but also on the east coast of the North Island, at Rotorua, Wai-rarapa, Otaki, Wai-kato, and at Taranaki, on the west coast thereof. This pump drill made at Rua-tahuna is depicted in "Maori Art," and the original is in the Dominion Museum. We have also seen that a European introduced the "bird-cage" drill into the Taranaki district in late times.
(Since the above was written, Mr. Chapman has informed us that the bird-cage drill and the pump drill are one and the same item, and that it was introduced into New Zealand by early voyagers. It is thus evident that many natives are not aware that it was not known to the Maori prior to the advent of Europeans.)
Kimble Bent states that he introduced the pump drill among a section of the Taranaki (or Patea) Maoris, he having seen such an implement used by blacksmiths. This occurred in the "sixties" of last century.page 89
Te Whatahoro assures us that in former times the pump drill was absolutely unknown, and that the cord drill was the only kind known to and used by the Maori. Among the Kahungunu Tribe stone weights were seldom used, but two pieces of maire or ake-rau-tangi (both heavy woods) were lashed in a horizontal position across the spindle, to act as a fly-wheel, as may be seen on specimens in the Dominion Museum. These cross-pieces are termed huapae. The spindle itself is known as the turuki. The ancient name for the drill (as a whole) was tuiri, and pirori is a mere modern name for it, and, strictly speaking, not a correct one. The best points for a drill were pieces of rangitoto stone; inferior ones were made oikaraa. No drill was used without a stone point, and the palm drill was but little used by the Maoris. The word moa, as applied to a drill, is quite unknown to Te Whatahoro.
The name rangitoto is not applied by the Kahungunu folk of Wai-rarapa to scoria, but to a hard stone used for certain implements.
Bishop Williams states that he saw the pump drill in use among the natives at the Bay of Islands in his youth; even so, it might still have been introduced by Europeans. The voyagers who visited those parts in the latter part of the eighteenth century and early part of the nineteenth carried artificers as blacksmiths, who would certainly be acquainted with the pump drill.
* See page 324 and "Maori Art," page 267 for an illustration of this drill.
The Iroquois Indians of America and the Chukchis of Siberia use the pump drill for the purpose of generating fire. Other tribes and races utilize it for perforating stone, shell, &c.
Mr. Walter Hough, in his "Methods of Fire-making," says that the pump drill is still used (1892) by the Klamath, Pueblo, and other Indian tribes in the manufacture of shell beads.
Drilling was employed by the Eskimo as a means of cutting ivory and bone. A number of holes was bored along the desired line of severance, and the piece then broken off. Boas describes a bone snow-shovel, one side of which shows the marks of fifty drill-holes. This reminds one of the Californian method of felling the huge Sequoia gigantea with augers.
The pump drill is known to the Samoans, but we do not seem to have any evidence that it was known in olden times, prior to the arrival of Europeans. In his "Samoa a Hundred Years Ago," Mr. Turner says (page 169 of edition of 1884), "A curious native drill is seen in connection with the manufacture of these little shell fish-hooks. Fine holes are drilled through the shell." He goes on to describe a slight-made form of the pump drill used by Samoans in piercing holes in shells, but merely speaks of it as now being in use, he having resided in the Samoan Group from the year 1840, and does not state that it belonged to Samoa of a hundred years ago. There is one peculiarity of the implement described by Mr Turner—viz., the shaft does not pass through the cross-piece; but the latter is quite detached, save that the two ends of the cord are attached to it, one at either end. This means that the cross-piece would probably have to be held against the shaft, so that the operator could not use both hands to work it, as the Tuhoe folk do, unless he curled one finger round the shaft whereby to keep the cross-piece against it.
Mr. Percy Smith says on this subject, "I am not at all sure about the pump drill being introduced by Europeans. Why should Samoans and others have it, and not the Maori?" This seems to bring us back to the former position: was the knowledge of this implement obtained from early European sojourners in New Zealand and the isles of Polynesia? No early writer on the Maori mentions any other form than the cord drill. We have, of late, inquired of natives of the Ngati-Raukawa, Taranaki, Whanga-nui, Nga-Tahu, Ngati-Porou, and Kahungunu Tribes, who stated that the cord drill was the only one known to and used by their elders.
All the drills in the Buller Collection are cord drills, as also are all those in the Dominion Museum, save the one made by Paitini.page 91
In his essay on the Maori race Colenso says, "One of their most ingenious instruments was a kind of wimble, or drill, composed of a small cylindrical piece of wood, produced to a point at one end, to which was fixed a small angular quartz stone; two strings were also fastened at the opposite end, these being repeatedly pulled by both hands in a contrary direction (the stone to be bored, &c., being firmly held by the feet) a hole was in time perforated." This was the ordinary Maori cord drill. It is to be regretted that the account thereof is not more detailed, as Mr. Colenso travelled much among the Maoris in the early days, as far back as the "thirties" of last century.
Several elderly natives, from fifty to seventy-five years of age, of the Ngati-Raukawa Tribe, in Horowhenua County, state that the cord drill was the only drill for boring stone known to them in former times.
The cord drill as used by other peoples seems to be, or have been, operated by two persons, or with some form of cap. We find no evidence that among any other people than the Maori was it operated without a cap by one person only. The action of the cord and pump drills may be termed intermittent, inasmuch as the rotatory motion was reversed at each downward pressure on the cross-bar.
Professor Rau, of New York, used a wooden wand of ash and sharp quartz sand, after the manner of a bow drill, to bore a piece of hard diorite. "So slow was the process that two hours of constant drilling added, on an average, not more than the thickness of an ordinary lead-pencil line to the depth of the hole."
The ancient Egyptians used the cord drill, or "thong drill" as some term it.
Sir John Evans has a statement to the effect that "The drilling of the holes through the handles of the New Zealand mere (a nephrite war-implement) is stated to be a very slow process, but effected by means of a wetted stick dipped in emery-powder. I have seen one in which the hole was unfinished, and was only represented by a conical depression on each face." The emery-powder should, of course, be sand, and there is no evidence to show that a wetted stick was "dipped" into sand or anything else. The nearest approach to such is the wooden drill described by Shortland, who does not mention any stone point. The tubular drill described by Evans and other writers was evidently unknown to the Maori.
When examining one of the curious neck-pendants known as heitiki it may be noted that the eyes thereof were formed by placing small discs of Haliotis shell (paua) in circular ring depressions surrounding a central cylindrical piece left in the manufacture. page 92It has been surmised that the Maori used a hollow drill which formed the ring-like depression for the shell eye, and left standing the round core over which such rings were placed. Te Whatahoro informs us that no hollow drill was used by the Maori, but that the ring-like depressions or holes were made with a pointed piece of stone used inside a circular hole in a piece of wood, which served as a guide for the stone graver. This piece of wood was flat and comparatively thin, and was termed a paehua (not a very specific term). In the middle thereof was made a circular hole. A pointed piece of flint lashed to a wooden handle was used as a graver. It was grasped in one hand, and worked round and round inside the circular hole in the paehua, the stone point being kept against the wood as a guide, the result, after a long time, being a circular ring-like pit, with a round core standing in the centre therof. Over this core was slipped the round piece of perforated shell that formed an eye for the image. In late times red sealing-wax has been used in place of the shell.
Rawiri te Kokau, of the Tuhoe Tribe, states that he has seen nephrite worked at Rua-tahuna by Kutu (still living, 1910), who is a famous maker of heitiki, though he has not wrought any for some years past. In forming a tiki he used a sort of graving-tool wherewith to fashion the hollows and inner bevels. A block of quartz from the river-bed would be broken into fragments, and suitable pieces chipped down to a point, though presumably not a very sharp point. These implements, says Rawiri, were used as gravers in carving stone. They were used with a rubbing motion, the point being rubbed to and fro on the surface of the stone where a groove was to be formed. Sand and water were employed to cause the graver to "bite" (presumably, though Rawiri mentioned water only). In such manner was a tiki formed from the hardest nephrite, on which steel tools make no impression. Where a hole was to be punctured in such an object the old man would first make a groove with his graving-tool by the above-mentioned process, and then drill the hole through by means of a pump drill (tuiri), the stone point of the drill being set in the groove already formed by the graver. Kutu was wont to use his own spittle in place of water, in order to keep the grit under the graving-tool dampened. Two kinds of sandstone were used in working greenstone, one of coarse grit and the other a fine grit.
There was no tapu pertaining to the working of any other stone than nephrite, and the origin of this tapu is not known.
In Mr. Chapman's monograph on nephrite he speaks of an old Maori explaining how heitiki were made. "He put the action to the word, and described circles round the eyes of a heitiki I had, at the page 93same time doing a hissing hum." This corroborates Te Whatahoro's account of the process.
Dr. Shortland remarks that heitiki were fashioned by rubbing with a pointed stick, sand, and water, but no one of many natives consulted by us knew of wood being used for the purpose. It is probable, therefore, that its use was limited, and that stone cutters were usually used.
The Maori also used a hand-drill piercer or borer in light work, used as we use a bradawl. Among his observations on the natives of Tahiti, Sir Joseph Banks says, in his journal (Cook's first voyage), "The manner of making them [shell fish-hooks] is very simple…. The shell is first cut by the edge of another shell into square pieces. These are shaped with files of coral, with which they work in a manner surprising to any one who does not know how sharp corals are. A hole is then bored in the middle by a drill, which is simply any stone that may chance to have a sharp corner in it, tied to the handle of a cane. This is turned in the hand like a chocolate-mill until the hole is made, the file then comes into the hole and completes the hook." Not being acquainted with the chocolate-mill of the eighteenth century, we are not clear as to whether this hand drill or borer was used as we use a bradawl or twirled between the palms of the hands,*like the fire-drill of the Hupas and other peoples, and the stone drill of certain American tribes.
Cook speaks of a tool he saw among the Maoris, presumably used as we use a bradawl, "As an auger, to bore holes, they fix a shark's tooth in the end of a small piece of wood." Probably this tool was used for boring wood. In many cases of drilled holes, as in timber and small items, it is probable that the boring was done with an awl, either of pointed stone or a shark's tooth lashed to a wooden handle, as seen by Cook.
Morrell, the American voyager, who visited New Zealand in January, 1830, remarks, in speaking of Maori implements, "A shark's tooth fixed in a piece of wood serves for an auger or gimlet … Their principal mechanical tool is formed in the shape of an adze, and is made of the serpent stone or jasper. Their chisels and gouges are generally made of the same material, but sometimes of a black, solid stone, similar to the jasper."
Pieces of flint chipped to a point were often used by Maoris as awls for boring wood.
* Probably the latter method is meant, as the old-fashioned chocolate-muller was used.
The above writer believes that the pump drill was unknown in America prior to the arrival of Europeans: "The pump drill appears to have been introduced into the south-west by the Spanish." He shows two kinds of the pump drill—one, as used by the Pueblos of New Mexico, in which the cross-piece has a hole in its centre so as to work on the shaft; the other, as the Iroquois fire-drill, in which the cross-piece is not pierced, but slides up and down the outside of the shaft, as in Samoa. The pump drill is unusual in the far north: "Were the pump drill of indigenous origin, it is believed it would be found generally distributed throughout the continent. Such investigation as the writer has been able to make on the subject indicates clearly, however, that it is of foreign growth."
In "Records of the Past," vol. x, page 180, appears a statement that in pre-Columbian times the Indians of North America were on the verge of discovering many new mechanical contrivances, having already the "reciprocating two-hand drill, the bow and strap drill, and the continuous-motion spindle."
The operating of the New Zealand drill by the alternate pulling of two strings appears to Mr. McGuire "difficult, if not impossible." He could not grasp the fact that the cord drill could be operated without a head-piece, or some other apparatus whereby to steady it. He remarks that Mr. Wohlers "must be mistaken" when he describes the skilful balancing of the shaft. We know that Mr. Wohlers and other contributors to Mr. Chapman's monograph were by no means mistaken. The Maori balances his cord drill without a cap or head-piece. We have seen him doing so.
* Report of U.S. National Musuem, 1894.
Mr. McGuire says, "The practise of picking a place in which the drill-point should revolve appears almost an invariable rule in all the artificial holes in stone which have come under the writer's observation." This counter-sinking, or making a small hole to receive the drill-point when commencing the operation, has been described by Te Whatahoro, but does not seem to have been used in conjunction with the perforated board, which took the place thereof. One writer mentions the perforated board as an alternative to countersinking.
The above writer has little faith in statements made concerning the great length of time it takes to make a stone implement with primitive tools: "The writer has demonstrated that a week would be ample time in which to make an axe of the hardest stone." In five hours he made a steatite implement, which he "pecked with a stone hammer, bored by means of a pump drill, ground smooth with a piece of sandstone, next with a jasper pebble, and finally rubbed with a piece of wood and a piece of buckskin as a polisher." He speaks of the Mexicans sawing and working nephrite in former times; possibly jadeite was meant.
The drill as twirled between the hands or on the thigh seems to be the most primitive form of the tool, the cord drill coming next. Early writers on America mention only the former.
The toggles or handles on the ends of the cords of a cord drill as used in Alaska, though doubtless an advantage, do not seem to have been used by the Maori.
The following items are culled from a paper on "Chipped Flint Perforators of Wisconsin," by George A. West, printed in the Wisconsin Archaeologist for April, 1909: "The straight shaft drill, twirled between the palms of the hands, was the one used exclusively by the nations of this continent at the time of the Spanish invasion." Mr. West found by actual experiments made by him that the use of water with sand in drilling stone facilitated the work in some cases, and retarded it in others, according to the quality of the stone drilled. "The rotary drill was known to the Hawaiians, as to so many other islanders of the Pacific Ocean," says the compiler of the "Catalogue of the Hawaiian Museum" (1892), but he does not describe the form.
In the Melanesian isle of New Britain "The T-shaped drill was used for boring shells. The point of the drill was generally a small piece of quartz" (Brown's "Melanesians and Polynesians"). Pre-sumably this tool was used as we use a bradawl, but no explanation is given of the manner in which it was used.page 96
During Professor McMillan Brown's late visit to the isles of Melanesia he made inquiries as to the form of drills used in those parts, the result being the same apparent confusion that is observed in New Zealand. In New Caledonia and the Loyalty Group both the cord drill and pump drill are in use, as in New Zealand. The pump drill is also in use in the Bismarck Archipelago, while the palm drill (twirled between the hands) is met with in many isles.
Another item of interest is the quotation from Banks's journal explaining how the hollow of the hook was fashioned—first by boring a hole, then by inserting a primitive file therein, and by its means enlarging the hole to the desired size and form. The Maori of New Zealand worked in a similar manner the holes, &c., when fashioning ornaments from stone. In making a heitiki, we are informed by Rawiri te Kokau, of the Tuhoe Tribe, a hole was pierced with the stone drill, and then such hole was enlarged and brought to the desired form by filing with a piece of stone thrust through the hole.
In speaking of the Tahitians as canoe-makers, Banks says, "Boring the holes through which the sewing is to pass seems to be their greatest difficulty. Their tools are made of the bones of men, generally the thin bone of the upper arm; these they grind very sharp, and fix to a handle of wood, making the instrument serve the purpose of a gouge by striking it with a mallet made of hard black wood. With them they would do as much work as with iron, were it not that the brittle edge of the tool is very liable to be broken."
Tareha, when speaking at a meeting of the Wellington Institute in August, 1868, remarked that, in somewhat remote times, bone tools brought from Hawaiki were used in timber-working, but that in later times stone tools came into use.
The time occupied in making some of the old Maori implements and ornaments must have been very great, and when they acquired iron they fashioned the same into implements by means of the same tedious processes.
Moser, in his "Mahoe Leaves," speaks of seeing a Maori carving a canoe-baler with tools fashioned from screw-drivers. "Look at his tools—three superannuated screw-drivers, filed and rasped down to gauge, and an old bradawl."
Time was no object to the Maori when engaged in fashioning an implement. Even after he had acquired iron his progress was often extremely slow. If the operator did not complete his task, then he trusted to the next generation to do so. Thus, in Moser's "Mahoe Leaves" we note an account of how he saw an old Maori "sitting page 97under a verandah engaged in manufacturing a fish-hook out of an old horse-shoe. Judging from the state of his file, I should say he had been thus engaged for some years, and is just as likely to be so engaged for as many more … Whether his energies and faculties were thus employed the whole night I cannot say, but as I awoke at the break of day I found him still at the post, and to all appearance his work just as far on to a satisfactory completion as it had been the night before."
In like manner the Tuhoe folk used to laboriously grind down pieces of iron in order to fashion patu (a short hand-weapon) there-from, which they termed patu pora.
It must not be supposed that every Maori was an adept at the making of stone or other implements. As in the case of house-building, wood-carving, the fashioning of greenstone (nephrite) ornaments, &c., a few persons became skilled in such work, and passed much of their time at it. Thus certain persons would become famous in the manufacture of stone implements, and, on account of much practise, were enabled to make such items quicker and better than could the average person. Even in communistic societies there is a certain amount of specializing in industrial matters.
The foregoing account of the native method of manufacturing stone implements can scarcely be said to be a clear and consecutive description of the various processes through which such a tool passed ere it was completed, owing to the number of extracts made from divers writers on New Zealand and its aborigines, and also to sundry items that have not been so well explained as we could wish. The following brief description of the work will possibly render the matter somewhat clear: In the first place, suitable stone had to be sought and procured, either a water-worn piece from river-bed or sea-beach, or a piece of a boulder, obtained by breaking the latter with stone hammers or by kindling a fire thereon and then throwing water on the heated surface, or by breaking a piece from some stratum or mass of suitable stone in situ. This piece had then to be reduced to the desired form ere the grinding commenced, and this process differed in treating different classes of stone. The tough nephrite did not lend itself freely to chipping, hence sawing was the principal method by which it was reduced to form. Blocks of nephrite were broken sometimes by hammering with heavy stones. The rough face of a piece of nephrite was reduced by a bruising process, the projections being crushed by pounding with a stone. Pecking the surface of nephrite succeeded better than any attempt to strike off chips, but was not very satisfactory. Sawing, bruising, and grinding were the principal modes adopted in working this stone.page 98
In working other kinds of stone, sawing was not much resorted to, inasmuch as they chipped much more readily than the tough neph-rite. Chipping was more generally done than flaking. A rough block had at first large chips or spawls struck off it. As it approached the desired form of the implement the chips struck off became smaller, until the bruising-hammer was brought into play, which reduced the faces to an even surface. The effect of the bruising is well seen on the butt end of Fig. 43, Plate VII, and in Fig. 85a, Plate XXII, also Fig. 13. A well-chipped but unground tool is shown in Fig. 7, while a rougher form of chipping is seen in Fig. 6.
The next process was the grinding, and this has been perhaps somewhat more clearly explained, inasmuch as we have witnessed the process.
The polishing or burnishing of stone tools and ornaments was the final process (save the drilling of a hole in some items), and has been explained heretofore by Te Whatahoro.
J. R. Forster, in his "Observations, &c.," remarks how soon a people might forget the art of making stone tools, and quaintly speculates on the future of the isles of Polynesia, and the natives thereof. He thought it probable that, in a few years after the visits of Cook and his contemporaries, navigation of the Pacific by our ships would cease, there being no inducement to revisit the islands, "as the isles have no productions." He then remarks that if the natives had obtained sufficient iron and iron tools to last them for a generation or two the race would certainly forget the art of making stone tools, and when those iron ones were all worn out or lost, the hapless Polynesian would be in a parlous condition-without tools and without the knowledge of how to make them. He did not need to worry about the Polynesian becoming toolless, albeit they have certainly ceased to make stone forms. It seems a pity that the old seafarer in the "Mar del Zur" cannot make one more trip hither-wards, if only to gaze with alarm on the lines of huge steamers rushing across the erratic water-roads of Cook, deep laden with the products of the "isles that have no productions."
And where the sunrise reddened
Old Tasman's creeping sail,
Now whirls her great propeller
The strong Pacific mail;
Aye, where their fearful helmsman
First trimmed his lonely light
Ablaze, the cargo steamer
Churns onward through the night.
-E. J. Brady …