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The Stone Implements of the Maori


When examining the small type of adzes it is quite impossible to draw any arbitrary line between the implements that were hafted and used as adzes and those that were handled and used as chisels. Many of them are alike in size and form; yet some such we see helved as chisels, while others were used, according to native authorities, as light adzes for fine finishing-work in timber-dressing. By being handled as a chisel is meant the lashing of the tool on to the handle in a line with its axis, as our steel chisels are placed in regard to the handle.

These stone chisels are found in great variety, both as to size and finish. Some are merely flakes of stone with one end ground to a cutting-edge, while others are finely finished tools, both in form and polish. In size they vary from a length of 1 in. to 8 in. and over, and in weight from ¼ oz. up to 1 lb. and over. Those with straight cutting-edges are termed "chisels," those having rounded cutting-edges are known as "gouges." Any line of demarcation drawn between thp large type of chisel and the narrow long adzes must be a fanciful one. It is, however, an assured thing that the long narrow type, be it adze or chisel, was used for special purposes.