An unusual feature of this wahaika is the particularly fine high relief carving on the shoulder of this club which depicts a completely tattooed (full body & face Ta moko) figure of a bound captive slave. Club may be a form of prisoner of War ritual execution club. The reke (butt), consists of two fern spore pods to form a heart shaped finial. Bored hourglass lanyard hole. Deep dark rich age patina.
Wahaika, which literally means the mouth of the fish, is a short handled close quarter striking weapon used for thrusting and striking. The primary striking edge of the wahaika, like other close quarter striking weapons, is the convex distal tip which can be used to great effect when thrust with force at vital points of the head and body, particularly the temple, the corner of the eye, between the eyes, the mouth, and the ribs.
Length: 44 cm (17.5 inches) Width: 15cm (6 inches)
Includes custom made, museum display stand.
See: Notes on the art of war, as conducted by the Maori of new Zealand, with accounts of various customs, rites, superstitions, &c., pertaining to war, as practiced and believed in by the ancient Maori. Elsdon Best of Tuhoe-land.