|The adze head is an artifact, the handle a reproduction|
|Howley 1915. Plate XVII|
(click to enlarge)
These are specimens of the well-known Celts, which appear to have been common to savage people all the world over. They are nearly always of the same pattern, and consist of long flattish pieces of hard slate rock or other material found suitable for the purpose. They are usually about 6 or 7 inches in length, narrow at one end, and ground away to a good cutting or chopping edge at the other and wider end.... I have seen a similar implement in the Smithsonian Museum at Washington, with a wooden handle attached by thongs of hide, in the form of an adze. It looked as though it had been used for dressing down sticks for spear handles etc., and possibly for hollowing out wooden troughs... No. 9 stone adze with wooden handle attached.
|Howley 1915 Plate XVI. The hafted adze head is No. 1, |
shown here without an attached handle.
|Another view of the adze|
|Detail from Plate XVII showing |
1) During the years when Howley was compiling his book on the Beothuks he had an opportunity to sketch and photograph this adze head both with and without an attached handle.
2) He mentions seeing stone adzes with wood and hide lashings on a trip to the Smithsonian Museum.
The conclusion that I draw from this information is that Howley had something to do with crafting the reproduction handle for this artifact. James P. Howley seems to have been a pretty magnanimous guy who didn't mind giving credit and acknowledging his sources. Which makes me think that if someone else was commissioned to make this reproduction for him, that he would have mentioned it. The fact that the handle suddenly appears to his specifications between Plates XVI and XVII in his own publication makes me think that he did it himself.
I believe James P. Howley made the red ochre stained handle and lashings for this artifact sometime before 1915, almost 100 years ago, making it the oldest known pre-Contact artifact reproduction in the Province.
1,4: Tim Rast
2,3,5: Plates from The Beothucks or Red Indians: The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Newfoundland by James P. Howley 1915.