Skip Navigation

Hand Adze with Blade

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Hardwood, bear bone, twine, pigment, iron
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 4 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 11 1/2 in. (10.8 x 5.7 x 29.2 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
CAPTION Nuu-chah-nulth, Ehattesaht (Native American). Hand Adze with Blade, 19th century. Hardwood, bear bone, twine, pigment, iron, 4 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 11 1/2 in. (10.8 x 5.7 x 29.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund, 08.491.8874. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 08.491.8874_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This is a hand adze composed of a carved wood handle, bear shin bone blade and commercial twine wrapped around both to bind together. The wood handle iconography has the top of a wolf's head with the upper torsos of a pair of dancers wearing wolf masks. These masks usually come in pairs (See 08.491.8905a,b). According to Culin collecting records the bone blade replaced an iron blade (2908:84). According to Bill Holm, Northwest Coast specialist, the twine is commercial and unabraded which indicates the adze has never been used in this form. The handle shows a wear pattern of the hand that used it and is softly worn.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
Hand Adze with Blade