Back to Civilization Clicks!
Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage Native material culture in Canada
Introduction Objects Photos & Papers Themes Kids & Teachers

Hand Mauls: Woodworking Tools from British Columbia

Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia used the hand maul for hammering and pounding tasks, often in combination with a chisel or splitting wedge, in the making of large wooden plank houses, dugout canoes and totem poles. Made of heavy, dense stone and gripped in the hand, it would have taken considerable strength to use this tool and the making of one a long, laborious job. A hammerstone was used to peck the maul into shape, and then the surface would be smoothed using a stone abrader. Some mauls from northern British Columbia were shaped like a stirrup. They could be grasped by the other hand for additional force in pounding.

Hand mauls and shaped hammerstones, such as those illustrated here, were typically made 700-800 years ago until European contact.

View all items in the collection