18TH C. Society Islands, TAHITIAN, basalt POI POUNDER
Origin: Central Polynesia, Society Islands/ Tahiti (French Polynesia) (Provenance: Ex. Collection Lynda Cunningham, Philmont New York)
Period/Date: At least 18th century, likely older judging by wear and use
Materials: Volcanic Basalt stone
Description: This stone poi pestle/ pounder appears to be an uncommon style with the two central raised ridges and the side flanges of the handle being about equal height. It appears to be carefully sculpted to fit the finger groves of the hand. I found a closely related example on Artkhade AKK-003808 (see photos). It shows significant wear and use and thus has some areas of minor loss that are extremely worn. There is a more defined chisel-like mark near its base. The side view of the ridged handle looks like a stylized face.
Dimensions: Height 5.75” (15 cm), width 3” (8 cm)