prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM000012011Tattooing adze, of wood, bone, and plant fibre, from the Society Islands (probably Tahiti); part of the Forster collection (part of Forster 37; 1886.1.1547)

Tattooing adze. The wooden handle has a concavity at the base of the handle to allow it to rest over a finger when in use. The blade is made from bone, possibly bird bone. It has been drilled at the handle end to allow a lashing of plant fibre to be passed through it, allowing it to be firmly bound to the handle. The other end of the blade has been cut to for four teeth, one of which is now lost. The underside of the blade has been carved out behind the teeth to form a well, possibly to hold liquid 'ink' during the tattooing process. The blade, handle, and binding are covered in black pigment/paint


  PRM000012009Tattooing hammer with mallet
PRM000012010Reverse of tattooing hammer
PRMCON000099Detail of tip