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The Stone Implements of the Maori

Recent Sources of Information

Recent Sources of Information

It seems desirable that some explanation should be made regarding the authorities from whom information has been obtained in regard to the manufacture, halting, &c., of the stone implements herein described. We have endeavoured to obtain such information from natives who have made a study of the subject. Nor must it be imagined that the oldest men, or those of high social rank, are the best informed in such matters, for such are often comparatively ignorant in respect to such manufactures. The persons who possessed knowledge of such items were the adepts, the men who passed much time in making and using these implements. We may observe this phase of Maori economy at the present time in the arts of tattooing and and wood-carving, which are still practised, though only by a few persons, the bulk of the people knowing but little of the subjects. When applied to for some information in respect to stone tools, a leading native, who is famed for his knowledge of Maori history and other old-time lore, gave some extremely interesting matter, but said, "I am not an expert in these things. I will send for a man who has made a study of the subject, and whose knowledge of it is much greater than my own."

It is worthy of special note, in considering subjects of this nature, that in Maori life occupations were to some extent specialized, and the knowledge descended from father to son. So that in a tribe or hapu (sub-tribe) there might be a family whose hereditary skill and knowledge constituted them makers of axes and implements to the the clan.