Villager with large ceremonial axe, Bonarua Is, Brumer Islands, PNG
The axe is probably made from the mineral jadeite, and has an intricately carved wooden handle. It is greatly treasured on the island.
Ground stone axes and adzes are still in use by the people of some of the smaller islands of Melanesia and Micronesia. The hard stone is ground on a riverine rock with the help of water until it has the desired shape. It is then fixed to a natural grown angled wood handle with resin and plant fibers. The shape and manufacture of these axes and adzes is similar to those found from the Neolithic stone age in Europe. Certain ceremonial crafts such as making canoes, ceremonial shields, masks, drums, containers or communal houses, etc,. may require the use of traditional-made stone implements.
A wide angle lens with flash fill (FF) was essential for photographs taken in the close confines of the village shelters.
16 mm, 1/60 sec; f/7.1; ISO 640, FF