The Stone Implements of the Maori
Manufacture of Tools, Weapons, and Ornaments From — Greenstone or Nephrite
Manufacture of Tools, Weapons, and Ornaments From
Greenstone or Nephrite
We have not much matter on record concerning the process of the manufacture of stone implements in olden times, save that treating of the nephrite, and in that case we must rely upon the fine paper on greenstone (nephrite) by Mr. F. R. Chapman, published in vol. xxiv of the "Transactions of the New Zealand Institute." This paper contains about all that has been published on the subject of working the nephrite of New Zealand.page 58
Thompson, in his "Story of New Zealand," vol. i, page 203, says, "Few specimens of mechanical skill are furnished by the natives, the highest example being the fashioning of hard greenstone into mere (a weapon) and ornaments. This is done by friction with flint and wet sand."
The processes employed in working greenstone seem to have been hammering or battering, sawing, drilling, and rubbing with or on a piece of stone used with sand and water. A block or boulder of greenstone was sometimes broken by means of battering it with a piece of hard stone used as a hammer. We are not aware that any handle was attached to such hammers, but it is quite possible that such was the case. Where a piece of the desired size was obtained it was rubbed on a mass of sandstone until a smooth face resulted, water being used in the process.