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 have traces of red pigment or sealing wax. The tip of the tongue is damaged and the blade end cracked.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Sealing Wax?; Technique: Carved
  • 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 5.5 x 200.0 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.

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

Where is this object from?


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
No media found
Page load time: 125 ms