club (weapons: bludgeon)

Long sword club of a olive brown wood with concavo-convex profile and slightly stepped dove tail shaped pommel. This pommel is wrapped in a woven string sheath which has been painted with white lime paint at some point in the past. A plaited wrist loop of brown cordage is also at the butt. The section of the club is plano-convex and the flat face bears a panel of curvilinear relief engraving comprising a meandering zig zag surrounded by double spirals and circular motifs. The club has a pair of eyes near the top.

Sword-Club, New Ireland, Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea So fascinating and marvellous are the funerary sculptures of the New Ireland peoples, little attention has been devoted to their other artistic creations. This little-known style of sword-club from the island is a case in point, and exhibits highly refined surface engraving. It mirrors other styles of wooden sword found in neighbouring islands groups and eastern parts of the New Guinea mainland, but its style of decorative engraving is quite unique. The New Irelanders historically waged warfare by using spears, slings and stones, and sword-clubs such as this. Wood, pigment. Late 19th Century. Provenance unknown.


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