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 tongue has a simple criss-cross pattern carved on it. The eyes are close together, with no central wooden pegs forming the pupils. Two are shell-inlaid, and there are shell-inlaid circles down the length of the club, closer together at the blade end.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    Before 1879
  • Materials
    Wood; Shell; Technique: Carved, inlaid
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Air Commodore Andrew Adolphus Walser, 1946
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    6.5 x 3.0 x 150.2 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: 19th century (David Simmons, October 1981).
  • Related people
    H C Mr Stephens (Previous owner); Andrew Adolphus Walser (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?


Previous owners

  • Andrew Adolphus Walser

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1946
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • H C Mr Stephens

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