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 tongue is a separate piece of wood. There are two square holes through the neck and a twisted fibre cord wound loosely around it. Three eyes are shell-inlaid.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Weapon
  • Culture
    Maori
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Abalone (Haliotis sp); Fibre; Technique: Carved, inlaid
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    7.0 x 3.3 x 194.3 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.

    Acquired by Norwich Castle Musuem from Captain TH Foster in 1919.
  • Related people
    T H Capt Foster (Previous owner); Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

    Owned from: 1919
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1956
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • T H Capt Foster

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1919
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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