club (weapons: bludgeon); club (general & multipurpose)

Wooden wahaika club of bill-hook form.

Curved Handclub, Wahaika, Maori People, New Zealand With a name meaning ‘fish-mouth’, the form of the wahaika is unique and distinctive. Backwards-curving hand-clubs were made elsewhere in Polynesia (notably, on Easter Island) but the Maori developed this style to a remarkable degree of refinement. Like the curved slashing swords of Asia, the curved wooden blade along the wahaika’s striking edge created a larger surface that the striking force was applied through during a single blow; wounds were therefore larger. The name is believed to refer to the distinctive notch in the middle of the striking edge, which was used to parry an enemy’s club and deflect it, or even disarm him. Wood. Mid-19th Century. Formerly in the private collection of an unknown Mr Alexander.


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