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shaft; furthermore, we have found no compound mount in which the
angle is other than proximal.

We next investigate the specific character of the panels, not at first
in the matter of their surface finish, but rather in their structural rela-
tion to the shaft. In the pieces having roughened panels we have
recorded in each case the fact that the roughened surface covers the
lower face of the head, which in every case is rounded. More or less,
but always some, of the upper face of the head, including the aspect
which with the lip forms the distinctive angle, is distinctly indicated as
a continuous part of the shaft. In the very decorative clubs with
worked panels the same continuity of shaft is quite as distinctly indi-
cated on the upper aspect, although the panel occupies appreciably
more of the height of the sides of the head ; in this species 3 of the pieces
have the panels continuous from one side to the other over the lower edge
of the head; 2, however (3186 c and 3179), exhibit the panels as sepa-
rated along the lower edge by a plain stripe from edge of head to end of
panel about one-half inch in width. This parting band may be seen in
Plate XI, figure b. In the 4 full-sized pieces of the third species the
rugose panel is continuous over the lower edge, and even in the reduced
specimen 2495 the presence of the mere notches along the lower edge is
to be considered as expressive of the same feature. Along the upper
aspect the shaft continuity is reduced in its expression to the fact that
the top of the head in the distinctive angle is as smooth as the face of
the hp opposite it.

Now we shall essay an interpretation of these types as based upon
panel dififerentiation. Thereto we postulate a type of axe-mount in
which the lip types the projection of the head of the blade; the head in
at least its upper aspect types the distal projection of the shaft beyond
the socket perforation. This form having been conventionalized to
such an extent that the Hp, originally stone or shell, has gone over into
the wooden member of the group, we shall examine its adaptation to
the purpose of a longitudinal mounting of the edged blade.

Roughly paneled species. — I regard the surfacing of this panel as
diagnostic. In contrast with the high finish of the wood of the shaft,
this is distinctively indicative of difference in material. This I can
only interpret as the contrast of stone surface with polished wood.
We thus see the postulated shaft in its conventionalized form excavated
for the reception of a stone blade. We thus comprehend the presence
of the sharp fine of demarcation between shaft and proximal edge of the
roughened surface ; it stands for a shoulder against which the end of the
stone was seated in order to prevent motion down the shaft. At the
distal end of the head we have the cutting- edge projecting beyond
the protecting wood of the shaft. This protection in the helving of
stone or shell blades is essential and real; such blades may receive an
edge which is impossible to wood, but they have the tendency to


shatter under impact; the wood is less dense in structure, but the dis-
position of its fibrous bundles renders it less liable to shattering ; when
the two are properly adjusted one to the other the tou.^h wood lends
valuable support to the more fragile stone or shell, and in the case of
this particular shell the density is so great that we may regard it as
truly a dense hmestone produced by animal rather than geological
causes. Next we find great significance in the carved ridge across the
angle between lip and head, which is found in all 5 pieces of this
species. So long as we confine our investigation to these 5 clubs we
derive the conclusion that the presence of this constant is indicative of
a transverse lashing which supported the stone blade in two senses
equally, one holding it taut against the shaft longitudinally, the other
estabhshing its support against the wooden shoulder at its end. We
shall see still more of this band in the species next to be examined.

Decorated-panel species. — In the former species the surface of the
panel was regarded as expressive of the difference in finish between the
blade material and that of the shaft. Here we find the introduction of
an added unit, which gives us the expression of another motive. Reck-
oning downward from the top of the head, we have first a surface which
seems intended to express the continuity of the shaft, then a highly
decorated panel, last of all along the lower edge in 2 out of the 5
pieces a blank stripe longitudinally from the face of the head to the
very end of the panel at the strongly marked shoulder on the shaft.
This stripe is continuous with the blade on the face of the head and a
trifle wider. I interpret this combination in the sense of a stone or
shell, and the dimension of thickness rather suggests the shell source,
set up against the rectangularly notched shaft with support up and
do\\Ti at the proximal shoulder, longitudinally on the upper line by the
shaft and lip and upper face of the head, and wdth added support by
slips of wood protecting its lateral dimension on either side. To this
we add in 3179 (fig. b) the carved band in the angle of lip and head as
representing a lashing as explained in the preceding type, and this
lashing is continued down the face of each of the sculptured side-
pieces in 3179 by a double tie of band-and-zigzag wliich we can com-
prehend only as representative of sennit. The same sort of tie on the
side-pieces appears in 3186 c, but there lacks the determinant associa-
tion with a band athwart the Up-head angle. This arrangement looks
particularly toward the helving type of stone axes in which a subsidiary
socket fixture is employed.

Rugose-panel species. — In this species we note the following impor-
tant divergences from the motives of the foregoing species. The band
in the angle is absent; up the shaft is no shoulder against which the
panel might end; the panel gradually loses itself indistinguishably in
the polished tract of the shaft both at the end and along the upper
edges; the rugosity reaches up practically to the edges of the upper


face of the head and disregards the suggestion present in the other
species of a shaft socket against which the blade is fixed. The rugose
panel consists of two members— transverse wrinkling across the whole
of the inner curve and less conspicuous scoring, the general effect being
such as might be produced in less dense timber by exposure in a steam-
box and bending under great pressure. The rugosity is so clearly
diagnostic that we shall have no difficulty in recognizing its probable
source. The outer surface of the tridacna is heavily sculptured in
just such wrinkles, accompanied by less conspicuous hues generally at
right angles thereto, the wrinkles of the shell being concentric with the
edges of the lip. Blades occur quite frequently with the natural sur-
face on one side. This must rest upon observation, for the many
specimens in the museum are highly polished upon both faces and do
not present this character. There is no part of the shell, not even at
the very dense and on that account preferable hinge region, which can
exhibit a rugosity such as in this species of club continues from one
face over the other. It appears to me that if there were no more than
the single face such as is seen in figure c, we have a satisfactory inter-
pretation of the motive in a slip of shell with its natural surface and
ground dov/n at the end to a cutting-blade inserted on a shaft carved
to receive it ; the rugosity on the other face will then be comprehended
as motivated by the general principle of symmetry in design. So
many of the critical units of the type are lacking to this species that we
may regard it as secondary evolution, but the persistence of the blade
is quite sufficient to warrant its inclusion in the type. It will be appar-
ent in the illustrations, far more conspicuously manifest in the pieces
themselves, that in this species we have passed away from the lightness
of the two foregoing species, which suggested greater importance of the
cutting-edge of the blade, and have here produced a v/eapon whose
impact force is reached by added weight grouped in the head.

In all three species of this type the blade continues on the face of the
head from its lower point up to the middle of the upper edge. This is
clearly a convention. In the two earlier species, in which the dis-
tinction between blade material and shaft-socket is structurally indi-
cated, it will be apparent that a really structural cutting-edge must
stop short at the beginning of the shaft-socket. But in the extension
of this unit from utility to decoration we find no difficulty in the exten-
sion of the edge beyond its structural possibility.

The axe-bit club is of a type of extreme complexity (Plate II, fig. e;
Plate IV, figs. 1-3). Considered as a whole, it presents the general
appearance of a curved club; yet that can be proved more apparent
than real. I dissect the piece into three units — shaft, socket, and

The shaft is simple, a rectilinear column of oval section ending dis-
tally in a strongly marked shoulder set diagonally to the length and


inclining inward toward the lower edge. This shoulder in 3362 is set
up by a strong flange, is not apparent on the upper edge, is sharply
angled on the lower edge, and faces the next unit with a square-cut
face. In 2478, a piece far less well executed, this shoulder appears on
both edges of the shaft and continuously around it; its forward aspect
is not so distinctly vertical to the blade, but meets it with a slant. In
3361 the shoulder is reduced to an obscure swelling of the shaft-end,
tumbling home with a rounded aspect toward the blade. This piece
is of very crude workmanship, carries an obscure extra unit which does
not appear in the better-executed pieces, and exhibits several puzzling

Between the shoulder of the shaft-end and the blade is a second unit
set angularly with the extent of the shaft. This is clearly a socket
designed to hold the blade in one function and in another to attach it
to the shaft.

This socket suggestion is not only the sole possible interpretation of
the structural form, but we find it most interestingly confirmed by a
similar Melanesian form in the Admiralty Islands, remote in space but
upon a well-estabhshed line of migration. From a paper by H. N.
Moseley (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, May 1877) is
extracted the following description:

"The obsidian lance-heads are secured in a socket of wood attached to the
end of the shaft by means of a cement and by being bound round with fine
twine. The socket is hollowed out in a separate piece of wood, and in order
to facilitate the scooping out process two slots are usually cut in the faces
of the socket. The shaft of the lance is spliced into a V-shaped slot in the
lower part of the socket piece. A rounded strengthening piece is retained
in the socket piece between the actual socket and the narrowed part of it in
which the slot for the shaft is cut. A very hard and solid gum is used to bed
the lance-head in its socket and the shaft in its slot, and to mass together the
turns of fine twine which secure the whole. In some lances the entire socket-
piece and the turns of binding twine are concealed by an even thick layer of
the gum, whilst in others the gum is used more sparingly and the turns of
twine and the wood of the socket-piece are exposed to view. In the former
class of lances ornamentation is effected by patterns being incised in the layer
of gum, and these have no Coix lachryma seeds attached to them. In the
latter class the upper turns of twine are arranged in diagonals, etc., separating
the ornamental colors, and the actual wood of the socket-pieces is carved and
colored. The gum employed is probably the same as is used for caulking the
canoe seams, which is obtained from a brown ovoid fruit about the size of a
goose's egg. The efficiency of the fixation of the stone head of the lance
evidently depends mainly on this gum. The wood of which the socket-
pieces are made is hard when dry and old, but probably much softer when
cut in the fresh condition. . . . The socket pieces of the lance-heads
are elaborately decorated. Some lances have a lozenge-shaped perforation
in the socket-piece beneath the head."

Parkinson (p. 354) ascribes the gum to a source in the nuts of the

P armarium laurinum.


The type of socketing is most clearly displayed in 3362 (Plate IV,
fig. 2), in which we have our best view of the true socket as between
the single knob and the pair of knobs, extending from the shaft to the
blade. As in the obsidian spears of the Admiralty Islands, we inter-
pret the transverse band as the solid central block of the socket sup-
plying the individual strength which it must possess in order to carry
its double engagement with shaft and with blade. On the proximal
side of this block we regard the first unit in its double appearance —
once on each face of the piece, as slotted for engagement with a broad
and thin tenon on the end of the shaft, and this tenon I find contin-
ued in gradually decreasing sharpness of outline in the three pieces;
viewed in 3362 it is that lateral wing which extends downward from the
haft to the end of the socket, where it
is cut off with a sharp angle to the
blade. From this point onward w^e
shall find no difficulty in reconstruct-
ing the hypothetical tenon as shown in
the figure (a) drawn from 3362. The
principal lines of tenon and socket are
readily identifiable ; the pair of dotted
lines forming approximately a right

angle opening downward toward the Fig. 2.— Reconstruction of tenon and

left are in the hypothesis that bearing socket.

of the tenon which engages with the slot of the socket ; the dotted circles
represent the positions of two of the knobs which appear on the club.
By the same process of subtraction, in this instance dissecting the tenon
from the combined unit, we are able to reconstruct the socket-piece
(fig. b). The central transverse area is solid, the upper and lower
units are slotted in the plane of the sketch, and the right-hand edge
carries the slot around so as to admit upon two bearings the tenon
within the upper unit and the downward extension of its edge, the
blade within the lower unit as far as the dotted line. From this very
clear picture of the two constructive pieces we shall have no difficulty
in discovering the same elements similarly situated in respect to one
another in the much ruder pieces ; the ruder of the two, 3361 , has indeed
given the clue to the hypothesis of this structural tenon, for it is only
thus that we can comprehend that initial element which in the detailed
description of the piece I have characterized as an extra unit. The
faces of the socket in 3362 are uniformly treated in twine patterns, and
with this we rehearse from Moseley "the upper turns of twine are
arranged in diagonals, etc."; the tenon areas which show outside the
socket, the upper panel within the ridged angle, and the inner wing are
treated in parallel lines suggestive of twine wrapping; the same treat-
ment is repeated on the left wing of the blade-socket, probably through
the symmetrizing principle, for this can not be considered part of the


tenon. In 2478 the socket ornament is found only on the central mem-
ber of the blade socket, the remainder of the unit having been reduced
to mere ribs. The tenon ornament, together with the same left wing
of the blade-socket, is clearly treated in twine patterns. In 3361 the
central member of the blade-socket lacks ornament, the remainder of
the unit being mere ribs; but the socket spaces are covered with a rec-
tangular reticulation which extends over tenon-spaces and over the
blade, quite characteristic of a piece which is altogether a lifeless fol-
lowing of a set pattern without the shghtest comprehension of its sig-

Yet just as this rude piece suppHes the clue to the interpretation of
the shaft-tenon, so does it afford the explanation of a distinctive ele-
ment of the construction whose consideration we have postponed to
the clarification of the socket problem. Following the Admiralty
Island method, we might postulate the fixing of the socket in both its
holdings by the use of gum, of which Fiji has abundance, and by twine
lashings. We have in Nuclear Polynesia abundant proof of the em-
ployment of these two materials in combination ; in this museum cres-
cent club 3 1 86 J had been so effectively repaired by these two agents as
to be serviceable for combat and quite as good as new. In the sketch
of the socket-piece we observe three knobs and find that they appear in
all three pieces — one in the inner right-hand corner near the shaft,
the others in the slotted part of the blade-socket, one at the upper
comer of each of the angles which divide that region into three mem-
bers. These knobs on one face of each club are exactly matched in
position by precisely similar knobs on the other face. In the extremely
illustrative 3361 we find in addition a panel between the upper left
ribbed angle and the central unit, and in this panel are three pits some-
what carefully drilled, and these pits correspond with similar pits on
the other face ; furthermore, each of the three large knobs on each face
carries a similar pit. Additional to these drill-marks, which so corre-
spond on one face and the other that they might be the two extremities
of a perforation, we find on the small remnant of the central solid unit of
the socket-piece and upon the central member of the blade-socket drilled
pits ordered in straight fines and quite as distinct as are the others, the
sole reason for setting them apart in independent consideration being
that they do not exactly correspond in position on the two faces. The
only meaning which it is possible to attach to these prominent knobs is
that they represent from the stone prototype pegs which served to
anchor the several parts of the combination, the upper single knob
spiking the shaft socket to the tenon, the lower knobs similarly spiking
the blade within its socket. Particular significance attaches to the
upper panel in 3361 with the drill-mark suggestion of perforations; they
quite confirm the spiking suggestion. I can not now recall, either from
experience in the life of the South Sea or from collections of ethnica,


any other example of the use of the spike. It is easy to comprehend
how in the case of such heavy implements as these clubs devoted to
uses essentially violent the need might arise for a firmer adjustment of
parts than is provided in the Admiralty Island spears by gum and

The ornament of the blades in these three pieces introduces a prob-
lem of intricacy still greater than that of the socket-piece. Of course
the shape is meaningless in any art of v/ood ; it is clearl}^ the conven-
tionalizing of some stone form. The markings in themselves are with-
out meaning. Because of their engagement with cutting-surfaces it is
impossible to look upon them as in the least associable with twine
lashing, which serves satisfactorily to explain the decoration of the
socket-piece. Disregarding the difference in the markings of the three
pieces as mere variety on the part of the clubwrights in the interpreta-
tion of an imperfectly comprehended motive, we find that all are con-
gruent upon certain details and upon the interrelation of those details.
These are as follows: Centrally situated on the blade-face a quadri-
lateral which appears as a well-designed lozenge or in poorer execution
as kite-shaped figures; in 3362 this lozenge is clearly divided into four
distinct members; engaging with the upper edges of the quadrilateral
and sweeping from its median diagonal, lines of decoration reach to the
cusps of the blade at its edge; between the lower edges of the quadri-
lateral and the next preceding unit of design are two triangles with
their bases resting on the edge of the blade. Merely as scratches on a
wooden surface these represent nothing which can have any meaning.
I regard them as carrying out a design of really much-advanced drafts-
manship — the line representation of the high lights of a varied surface —
every plane represented by diversity in its linear representation quite
as is done still in pen-and-ink drawings. This could have no particular
application to the ordinary type of stone or shell axe ; these are rubbed
down to a surface which displays no variety. After long study of each
detail of these pieces I am led irresistibly to the obsidian and the high
lights upon its fracture surfaces, which under skilful pressure tend to
considerable regularity of conchoidal fracture. I assume, therefore, as
the prototype an obsidian fragment sufficiently large to serve as an
axe-bit, its mounting in a slotted socket, its compaction with gum and
twine lashing and pegs. In all except the pegs and the size of the blade
we can find all these elements in the remarkable obsidian spears of the
Admiralty Islands. It has been a most intricate elucidation; so many
critical elements of the composition have had to pass under individual
review that the end may have been obscured in the detail ; but now that
it is assembled in its simplest statement I find that not only is that
explanation satisfactory to my best judgment, but it is exclusive. No
other explanation has sufficed; interpretations which have arisen for
consideration in the case of individual units have failed completely


when it was sought to extend them to another unit. The obsidian
prototype is the only one in all my acquaintance with South Sea
motives of design and with the handicraft in which they find expres-
sion, which accounts for all these units.

There remain for our consideration the pieces with saw-teeth on the
cutting-edges. There appears to be a series associable by the number
of edges carrying the teeth. A uniserial type is represented in
ANSP 15744 (Plate IV, fig. 6), a horned club with large and dis-
tinct teeth on the edge opposite the horn. That this type may become
biserial appears on a club in Kramer's possession (Samoa, II, 216 6).
The talavalu clubs are all biserial (Plate III, d, e, /). Then follows a
triserial piece (fig. a) and a quadriserial piece (fig. g) ; in each of these
we find an additional element in an alternating series of much smaller
teeth of a purely decorative purpose. The type engages somewhat
with certain of the banded lapalapa, for Kramer figures (vSamoa, II,
216 c) a form which has developed its multiple angular banding effec-
tively into teeth and exhibits a satisfactory evolution from the museum
piece 2273. We must regard all the toothed clubs as metamorphs
upon the weapon of the sawfish. We find in the museum one of these
fish appendages which has been rived longitudinally, edges slightly
rounded for grip — a very effective implement of bodily harm any-
where within the limits of mayhem and murder. The uniserial and
the multiserial clubs of this type represent various arrangements of
such rived saws; the biserial represent the saw in its natural order.
(Parkinson, 420-5, figures a mounted saw from Wuvulu and Aua.)
But when we pass beyond the simplicity of this identification of the
saw-teeth we find difficulties in its adjustment to the shaft. In the
talavalu three of the pieces (figs, d and e) end in a strongly marked
pyramidion, and 2272 has a still more remarkable terminal in the form
of a square plate. But the natural end of the saw is slightly curved
in the arc of a circle and there is no increase in thickness which might
suggest the median expansion of the wooden pyramidion. In the
pieces figured as a, J, and g, the end of the head is distinctly cupped,
quite in the opposite sense from the pyramidion. In the biserial clubs,
except figure /, there is a distinct shoulder on the shaft out of which
the blade arises, and in figures a and g we find at this point distinct
plates respectively triangular and quadrangular. It seems best to
regard the use of this motive as aheady in a secondary stage and con-
ditioned by added ornament, which is not in nature associated with
the saw. This is most distinctly the case of the horned club ANSP

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