Lot 142

Mason's axe Gi okono Kanak New Caledonia Bois ; slate, coconut fibre and dogfish hair. Late 19th century, early 20th century. H : 53 cm. The handle is covered with a blue European cloth held in place by fibre ligatures. It supports a large slate blade, fitted and maintained by a coconut fibre ligature decorated with a braided cord of dogfish hair. The half-coconut base is covered with fabric and tied. This davit axe is distinguished by the addition of a large blade made of cut slate plate. Symbolizing the gradual abandonment of the manufacture of this type of object as a medium of exchange between tribes, the monstrous axe became the typical gift item offered to colonial administrators at the end of the 19th century.