In 1974 Waikato Museum acquired a selection of items, including this pith splitter, from Graham Jackson. Jackson was a New Zealand anthropologist who spent time living with and researching the Kopon and the Kalam people of the Lower Kaironk Valley in Papua New Guinea.
Jackson fieldnotes: Cassoway Tibia Pandanus Pith Splitter. Awl = this is the name of the cassowary bone from which men make these knives. They are used to split off the pith of fruit pandanus (as for the ssp knives) which is eaten as a sauce.
Materials: made from tibia bone of cassowary bird.
Form: joint end of bone makes handles; tapers to sharp point.
See full details