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Shells and Stones: A Functional Examination of the Tuamotus Adze Kit.

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Title:Shells and Stones: A Functional Examination of the Tuamotus Adze Kit.
Authors:Klem, Jonathon M.-A.
Contributors:Anthropology (department)
Keywords:Central East Polynesia
prehistoric seafaring
Society Islands
show 2 moretool function
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Date Issued:Aug 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Based on a study of functional variation in 84 stone and 192 shell adzes from the Bishop Museum Tuamotus adze collection, this paper argues that the Paumotu, or the inhabitants of the Tuamotus, maintained trade with the high volcanic islands of Central East Polynesia in part to acquire resources that did not naturally occur within the Tuamotus. This project relies upon experimental research conducted on Polynesian adzes (Best, 1977; Turner 2000, 2005), and morphological typologies (Shipton et al., 2016), and emphasizes the importance of material type and intended function as the driving forces in the production of the East Polynesian adze kit. The author found that the Tuamotus Adze Collection exhibits significant variation for several functional characteristics identified by previous studies along the lines of material type. These differences in function align with Turner’s (2000) functional adze typology, with the shell adzes filling the role of Turner’s Type A, while the stone adzes are spread between the Type A, Type B, and Type C adzes. Because each of these functional types are fundamental in canoe construction, the observed differences between the shell and stone adzes in the Tuamotus Adze Collection suggest that the acquisition of high-quality basalt from the nearby high volcanic islands in Central East Polynesia was critical to the maintenance of the ship-building industry present within the Tuamotus.
Description:M.A. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Anthropology

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