Story: Bay of Plenty places

Obsidian from Mayor Island

Obsidian from Mayor Island

Obsidian is a volcanic glass and was prized as a cutting material in a world without metal. Mayor Island was the largest single site of obsidian in New Zealand, and its Māori name, Tūhua, is also the Māori word for obsidian. The mineral is found at places from the Kermadecs in the north, to the bottom of the South Island. This cutting implement, made from Mayor Island obsidian, was found at Cape Maria van Diemen in Northland.

Using this item

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira
Reference: 17343.1

Permission of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Malcolm McKinnon, 'Bay of Plenty places - Inshore islands', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/5664/obsidian-from-mayor-island (accessed 15 December 2019)

Story by Malcolm McKinnon, updated 1 Jul 2015