Story: Pounamu – jade or greenstone

Adze

Adze

This toki pounamu (adze) is believed to be at least five centuries old, and it would have been owned by an important chief. Europeans arriving in the 19th century encountered trading of pounamu throughout the North and South islands. In traditions, the first trading route for pounamu started when a woman named Raureka, of the Ngāti Wairangi tribe, brought a toki pounamu from the West Coast of the South Island to the east coast, making the Ngāi Tahu people aware of a route to this valuable resource.

About this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: B.018472

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Pounamu – jade or greenstone - Ngāi Tahu and pounamu', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/7672/adze (accessed 19 November 2017)

Story by Basil Keane, published 12 Jun 2006