Patu onewa are usually made from greywacke, a hard type of sandstone. The top of the flat blade is the main striking edge. The Maori warrior held the weapon in one hand, generally using a short, jabbing action demanding great strength and flexibility in the wrist. The sharpened edge could cut skin easily and break bones, and the name 'cleaver' is probably a better description of how the weapon was used than 'club'.
Acquired by Beasley at Stevens' Auction Rooms, 20 October 1926, from the Laver collection, from Mr Harrison, 1897.