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). Two twigs are bound to the shaft with strips of rush and fibre (but may be part of a collar which has slipped down from the neck). The eyes are not very deeply carved.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Fibre Rush; Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Technique: Carved
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Rossendale Museum, 1988
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    5.2 x 3.0 x 159.0 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.
  • Related people
    Rossendale Museum ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Rossendale Museum

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1988
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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