Ɵ Wahaika short club,
Maori Kawerau, New Zealand
Probably late 18th - early 19th century
Wood with brown patina of use
H. 38 cm
Maori Kawerau Hand Club with Tiki Wahaika, New Zealand
H. 15 in
- Sotheby's London, 3 July 1989, lot 52
Wahaika with traditional shape, hooked mace, short and firm grip. A tiki head is carved at the base of the handle, pierced to receive a strap. A second tiki, standing, stretches higher, the body significantly arched by spreading the arms backwards, the legs carved in two waves. The face is powerful, the mouth darts a short tongue as a sign of defiance, a traditional gesture of the haka warrior of the Maori fighters. Two piercings are made between the arms and the club and under the nape of the neck. The deep glossy brown patina proves a long and ancient usage.
Worn at the belt, this type of short weapon intended for close combat was favoured by warriors for its simple and effective handling, intended to strike in a radical way the vital points of the face or the body. The lateral curvature and the presence of the standing tiki seem to indicate an origin from the north of the island.
It is rare to find these weapons carved in wood, as Maori carvers have more often used sperm whale bone for this type of weapon.
Location of the item France - 75008 Paris