Summary | Raw materials | Items of material culture | Other tasks | Arrows | String | Survival in a prehistoric context

Raw materials | Stone | Hafts | Wood and bark | Bamboo | Rattan | Feathers and shell | Bone

3.1.2 Hafts

Some tools were hafted to make them easier to hold, or for twirling when drilling holes. Hafts were made out of a small piece of bamboo which had been split longitudinally. The flake was put inside this split length and held in place by a binding of bast fibre (the inner bark of a tree) (Figs 40, 43, 46; Plate 71). In all drawings of tools, a broken line indicates the working edge. Hafts could also be made of cane grass stems and palmwood, and sometimes sealed with clay (Strathern 1969). The average amount of time that it took to haft a suitable flake was about 15 minutes. In the present assemblage, hafted tools were made only for drilling purposes. The Wola also used hafted flakes to pare strands of rattan for weaving armbands. Strathern (1969) also noted the use of hafted tools for teasing out or shredding fibres while Watson (1995) noted a range of uses for hafted tools including piercing shells, making holes in wooden shields, some bloodletting procedures and lancing boils.

Plate 71 71
Binding chert tool into handle

The hafted tools used by the Wola fall into the category described as direct terminal axial hafting (Stordeur 1984). Hafting is more expensive in terms of time than simply knapping, selecting and using flakes, introducing another stage into the manufacturing process. It is noteworthy that hafted flakes were artefacts to which the Wola gave a specific name (tomaep aeray habuwk lay). Strathern (1969) suggests that drilling is a task exclusive to hafted flakes. Hafted flakes were not kept for any longer than unhafted flakes and were made when needed.


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Last updated: Wed Oct 8 2003