Many occurrences of hard rocks suitable for axe making were exploited, but only at a few centres was the manufacture of axes carried out on a large scale. In recent times, a group of axe factories located in the Wahgi and Jimi Valleys accounted for the bulk of production and may stretch back 2,500 years.
They are no longer made (being replaced with metal trade goods) and the knowledge of how to make them has essentially been lost in the face of modern cultural influences. If owned now, they are essentially used for ceremonial purposes or as visual demonstrations of wealth and family history.
These 2 specimens were collected in the early 1970's.