A peculiar form of implement found mostly with moa-hunter remains in the South Island, has been described by Skinner (75, p. 166) and Duff (32, p. 158) as a laterally hafted or side-hafted adze. It is triangular in cross-section, the butt is markedly reduced to form a tang, and the cutting edge is formed by one bevel. The two specimens in Figure 40 show that
Fig. 40. Side-hafted implements.
a, after Skinner (75, p. 166); b, after Duff (33, p. 158).
the tang was formed by reducing the sharp apical edge of the butt and the sharp edge was continued from the butt shoulder to the lower end of the implement. The narrow surface opposite the apical edge corresponds to the base of the triangular section and forms the back or posterior surface. Instead of the back being bevelled to form a cutting edge as in "hog-backed" triangular adzes, the posterior surface is continued for the full length of the implement thus creating wide lateral surfaces. The lower end of one of these sides is bevelled to form the cutting edge.
The term "side-hafted" implies that the side of the implement was hafted either to the front of the foot, when the axis of the cutting edge would be that of an adze, or hafted by its side to the side of the foot, when its cutting edge axis would be that of an axe. If hafted as an adze, there would have been no reason for a tang on one side of the butt and making one side border thin and the other thick. If hafted as an axe, it is doubtful that the side of the implement was hafted to the side of the foot like the doubtful technique of the toki titaha shown in Figure 39b.
A comparison is made in Figure 41 with the Mangarevan axe and the Tahitian "hog-backed" triangular adze. All three implements have a narrow posterior surface and are convex longitudinally in front. The Mangarevan axe (a
) is not tanged but the upper end of the butt is roughly chipped for the same purpose as the tang in the other two. Though its front is rounded, the cross-section approaches the triangular form of the other two (b, c
). In spite of its clumsy appearance, the Mangarevan axe was securely lashed with its narrow posterior surface against the front of the foot (d
). The "hog-backed" triangular adze which almost approached
Fig. 41. a, Mangarevan axe; b, New Zealand implement; c, Tahitian hog-backed adze; d, hafted Mangarevan axe; e, hafted Tahitian adze.
an axe in function was also hafted with its narrow posterior surface against the front of the foot (e
). It is apparent that there would have been no difficulty in securing the moa-hunter implement (b
) with its narrow back against the front of the foot or the toe of the haft. If this was done, the term "side-hafted" is inappropriate.
The question arises as to whether the number of cutting edge bevels or the direction of the axis of the cutting edge is the more important in deciding whether an implement is an adze or an axe. Personally, I think that the axis of the cutting edge is the more important. Unfortunately, however doubtful implements are not hafted and the direction of the page 194cutting edge remains conjectural. On the evidence, I think the moa-hunter implement was tanged to function as an axe. This form of axe with one bevel was old and was evidently succeeded by the toki titaha type with two bevels.
The Polynesians were devoted to the adze form of implement and the need for a longitudinal cutting edge was met in different ways. In New Zealand and Mangareva, implements with two bevels were hafted as axes but in Hawaii and the Society Islands, adze heads were hafted to a rotatory axis to perform the funcdons of an axe.