This blog is a electronic museum of my collections of antiquities, ethnographic, first editions, retro pottery from the 1950's to early 1970's, shell, mineral and gemstone samples,fossils and other wonderful things! Comments are welcome on the objects including advice which will add to my own wonderment and knowledge.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rare Stone Axe Heads: Wahgi Valley Papua New Guinea circa early 1930s.

Before the first Australian patrol to Mt Hagen in 1933, stone axes were in daily use in the Papua New Guinea Highlands and were widely traded.

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.

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