About this object

A taiaha (long club/fighting staff) with one end (the head) carved in the shape of a tongue with a human face on either side of the shaft below it, the other end is a smooth blade. The surface decoration on the tongue is double spirals formed by haehae (parallel grooves) and ridges with pakati (dog's-tooth notches). The eyes are inlaid with sealing wax. The tongue has been broken and re-attached to the shaft by a joint and two wooden pegs. The tip of the tongue is broken off.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Sealing Wax; Technique: Carved
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Mrs Irene Beasley, 1954
  • Collector
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    12.5 x 4.0 x 185.5 cm
  • Note
    The taiaha is a double-handed weapon used for striking with the blade, or stabbing with the tongue end, which is carved protruding from the mouth in the Maori gesture of defiance.

    Attribution: Taranaki, 1850 (David Simmons, October 1981).
  • Related people
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley (Collector); Irene Beasley (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?


Previous owners

  • Irene Beasley

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1954
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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