Story: Kōhatu – Māori use of stone

Obsidian

Obsidian

This is an obsidian-flow outcrop in Oira Bay, Mayor Island. Obsidian is a natural glass, formed by the rapid cooling of silica-rich volcanic lava. It was prized for its use in cutting and scraping. The Māori name was matā, and obsidian from Mayor Island (Tūhua) was known as matā tūhua.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Richard Smith

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How to cite this page:

Phil Moore and Bruce McFadgen, 'Kōhatu – Māori use of stone - Stone tools', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/8880/obsidian (accessed 18 September 2019)

Story by Phil Moore and Bruce McFadgen, published 12 Jun 2006