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Dui Club

Tonga Islands

Carved wood
19th century
Height: 26 ¼ in. (66.5 cm)

Ex collection John Hewett, London (1919-1994)

Published: Parcours des Mondes 2016

Price: sold

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War occupied a preponderant place within Tongan societies. Battles served to reinforce the authority of chiefs as well as to multiply ties between different groups of allies.
War clubs – the most precious possessions of warriors – evidenced exceptional sophistication and refinement in their sculpture and ornamentation.
The club known as a Dui is a rare and particularly elegant form in terms of the delicacy of its blade. Its ownership was reserved for high-ranking individuals. Its shape is inspired by plant motifs. The upper portion, flared in the shape of a fan, allowed the bearer to parry the blows of his opponent.