Gi okono axe-stringer

Height: 59 cm. Largest blade diameter: 25.5 cm


The handle is covered with blue tapa cloth, held in place by crossed ligatures with lozenge-shaped fiber patterns.
This supports a large slate blade, fitted and held by a coconut fiber ligature adorned with a braided cord of dogfish hair.
The half-coconut base is covered with tapa and tied with braided cords of dogfish hair.
Kanak population
New Caledonia

Provenance :
– Former Henri Louit collection (1846-1905)
– By descent to his son, Docteur Louit
– Alice Guermont Collection
– Jean-Louis Despiau Collection
– Collection Huguette et André Fabre. Toulouse

This axe-ostensoir stands out for the addition of a large blade made of cut slate, symbolizing the gradual abandonment of this type of object as a medium of exchange between Kanak tribes.
Lacking the sacred character of shell coins, the axe-axe became a typical gift for colonial administrators at the end of the 19th century.

Henri Louit was a magistrate and Justice of the Peace in Bourail from 1890 to 1894.
It was during his stay in New Caledonia that he collected a number of objects. The collection was displayed in the Puntis manor house in the Gers.
After various successions and divisions, Alice Guermont donated the rest of the collection to the Musée de l’Homme. It is currently housed at the Musée du Quai Branly.

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