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. Several tufts of dog hair and the remains of feathers are fastened to the shaft with cloth binding and fibres at the neck. The main design on the tongue is double spirals with closed elliptical centres, formed by haehae (parallel grooves) and ridges with pakati (dog's-tooth notches). One eye is shell-inlaid, two others have traces of sealing wax.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Weapon
  • Culture
    Maori
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Fibre Textile Linen; Hair Dog; Sealing Wax; Technique: Carved, woven
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Reverend J H Scott RN, 1943
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    5.8 x 3.6 x 157.0 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
    Auckland Museum (Previous owner); Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (Previous owner); J H Rev Scott (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

    Owned from: 1943
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1943
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • J H Rev Scott

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1943
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Auckland Museum

    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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