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). The eyes are inlaid with shell and red sealing-wax, and the shell has notched outer edges.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Weapon
  • Culture
    Maori
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Abalone (Haliotis sp); Sealing Wax; Technique: Carved, inlaid
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Mrs Irene Beasley, 1954
  • Collector
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    6.6 x 3.5 x 159.2 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.

    Acquired by Beasley from Kelso Museum, 26 July 1933.
  • Related people
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley (Collector); Irene Beasley (Previous owner); Kelso Museum (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Irene Beasley

    Owned from: 1933-07-26
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1954
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Kelso Museum

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1933-07-26
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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