Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Jiwaka Province, Wahgi people, ca. 19th century CE. A grey-green slate axe set into a wooden cavity that extends outward, mirroring the blade shape at one end, and providing a counterweight to the blade. The wood is wrapped in woven binding made from dried vines, most of them pale in color, with darker weave forming geometric patterns on the woven surface. A narrow, cylindrical wood handle at a ninety degree angle to the axe head provides a hand hold. The stone for this axe was probably quarried in the Manginbor area, and battle axes like this one are made mainly in the villages of Mangarvigar and Gumbigai. Size: 14.9" W x 15.5" H (37.8 cm x 39.4 cm)
Provenance: private Rochester, Michigan, USA collection
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