1970.78.10.0006 (Chisel)

1970.78.10.0006 (Chisel) image

Piece of palm bark with alternating black and red sting wrapped around it following the a mirrored pattern starting at both ends meeting in the middle where there is a solid chunk of white string. On the black portions there is razor grass that has an orange tint (either from age, dye, or reaction to string dye). There is an Agouti tooth attached by placing it in a split section of the wood and wrapped around with string and razor grass.

These chisels are called "madi xeta nupe" among the Cashinahua and it means "agouti tooth knife". Chisels wrapped in string are often used for ceremonies, but that does not necessarily mean that they are well-crafted or sacred. A madi xeta nupe may be reused for many other ceremonies, only used once and thrown away, or used in daily life for working with wood after the ceremony. The colors on the chisel are commonly found in the culture because the dyes are easily made with the resources found in culture. Though never stated explicitly, there could be importance behind the colors. Red: ambivalence, war, blood. Black: death, infertility, impurity. White: power, purity, harmony.

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1970.78.10.0006 (Chisel) image