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.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Weapon
  • Culture
    Maori
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Feather; Fibre; 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
    7.1 x 5.5 x 199.5 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: 19th century (David Simmons, October 1981).

    Acquired by Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Taunton Museum, from Mr Thomas Dawson.
  • Related people
    Thomas Dawson (Previous owner); Taunton Museum (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Taunton Museum

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Thomas Dawson

    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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