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. Tufts of dog hair, red wool tassels and the remains of feathers are fastened to the cloth binding at the neck. The main design on the tongue is double spirals formed by haehae (parallel grooves) and ridges with pakati (dog's-tooth notches). The eyes are shell-inlaid. There are two holes through the blade end caused by faults in the wood.

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); Technique: Carved, inlaid
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Royal Institution, Liverpool, 1942
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    6.5 x 4.5 x 200.5 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.

    Attributions: Possibly East Coast, 19th century (David Simmons, October 1981).
  • Related people
    Liverpool Royal Institution (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Liverpool Royal Institution

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