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. A collar of feathers is bound to the shaft with fibre at the neck. 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 shell-inlaid. There is a small hole through the blade end.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    Before 1875
  • Materials
    Wood; Technique: Carved
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Taunton Museum, 1942
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    5.0 x 3.3 x 173.5 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: South Taranaki, 19th century (David Simmons, October 1980).

    Acquired by Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Taunton Museum, in 1875, from the Queckett collection.
  • Related people
    Queckett (Previous owner); Taunton Museum (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?


Previous owners

  • Taunton Museum

    Owned from: 1875
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1942
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Queckett

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1875
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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