About this object

A tattooing instrument shaped like a small hafted adze, made from dark wood. The base of the haft is flattened. The bone blade has a serrated edge and is attached to the haft by fibre lashing.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Body Art
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    Before 1942
  • Materials
    Wood; Bone; Fibre; Technique: Carved
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Taunton Museum, 1942
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    0.7 x 5.0 x 18.5 cm
  • Note
    The back of the instrument was tapped with a small striker or mallet, and the serrated edge of the blade broke the skin and applied the pigment (soot and oil) into the punctured surface. Another method of tattooing involved cutting the skin with a type of chisel with a straight blade before applying the pigment.
  • Related people
    Taunton Museum (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?


Previous owners

  • Taunton Museum

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1942
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
No media found
Have 26 place tagsPage load time: 140 ms