Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • Ayoreo peoples
  • axe, late 1800s–1976
  • Where object was made: Paraguay
  • wood, metal, wire, plant fiber, carving
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: a 32 x 6 x 4 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: a 12 5/8 x 2 3/8 x 1 9/16 in
    Object Length/Diameter: b 47 x 2 cm
    Object Length/Diameter: b 18 1/2 x 3/4 in
    Object Length/Diameter: c 47 x 2 cm
    Object Length/Diameter: c 18 1/2 x 3/4 in
    Object Length: d 195 cm
    Object Length: d 76 3/4 in
  • Gift of Robert J. Smith
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5303.a-d

The axe consists of four parts.

2007.5303.a: is a short, straight wooden handle with a flat rectangular metal blade inserted in the end. The portion of the blade within the wood is held in place with wire wrapping. There is one short rope of twisted plant fiber tied around.
2007.5303.b,c: are two straight wooden sticks.
2007.5303.d: is a rope of twisted plant fiber with a loop at one end.

The hafted blade (2007.5303) may be used as a hand axe. Alternatively, the two handles (2007.5303.b,c) may be tied to the hand axe using the rope (2007.5303.d), making a right-angle to the blade for greater leverage in chopping.

It was intended for chopping open trees to collect honey.