Toki and whao were originally a practical tools employed in adzes, chisels and weaponary. They were made of pounamu and lashed to wood as there was no steel at that time, the design represents strength and leadership. Pounamu was so Highly prized by Maori only leaders could obtain it. The smaller Pounamu chisel heads were commonly referred to as Whao and were sometimes worn around the neck they could be easily lashed to a haft or handle using Harakeke (NZ flax) the larger Adzes were used in Ceremony and to carve large works they were also sometimes used in battle.

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