Wood with reddish-brown patina, haliotis mother-of-pearl
Presumed date of manufacture: 19th century
Denver Museum Collection1, Colorado, USA
(inventory no. 1562.1983, inscribed under the handle)
Galerie Flak, Paris
Jean Paul Morin Collection, Paris
This traditionally-shaped wahaika club features a figure in the prolongation of the grip, with the body significantly arched by the backward spreading of the arms. The face, with its haliotis-encrusted eyes, has its mouth open and tongue out, in reference to the ritual gesture of defiance adopted by Maori warriors.
Worn on the belt, this type of short, close-combat weapon was favoured by warriors for its simple, effective handling, designed to strike vital points on the face or body.
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