Tradional Trade Axes brought to Life

Since 2015 Rob and carver Michael Matchitt combine their talents and produce traditionally hand crafted trade axes.

They believe the trade axe brings the unique Māori and European cultural history together. It tells the story of how early explorers like captain Cook brought new material and technology to Aotearoa. They traded for land, timber, flax, food and it was used for koha.

The iron, fire welded folded axes have an inserted carbon piece in the blade, giving it a good cutting edge.

Māori used the axes both as implements and weapons. They took much pride in carving the handles, making the pieces a prized family treasure.

A series of these axes have traveled the country featuring in galleries and are currently show cased at the Kura Gallery in Wellington and Auckland.

These taonga are often gifted for special life events and celebrations, becoming a part of family history as an heirloom.

The New Zealand Defense Force has commissioned an axe to lead their welcoming ceremonies and haka’s. Photo credits NZDF.

The making of trade axes