axe (general & multipurpose)

Polished stone axe head, shaped for insertion into wooden haft.

Polished stones are more likely to be used in ceremonies or exchange. If this example is compared with a ‘dressed’ stone from the same location the decorating can make all the difference. The Barbier-Mueller collection has one where orchid string is wrapped around the girth of the stone several times and straw woven pendants hang down adorned with cowrie shells. This is described as an object involved in bride price See P Peltier and F Morin Ombres de Nouvelle Guinée: arts de la grande Île dans les collections Barbier-Mueller Somogy editions d’art, Paris 2006 p 245

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: