Apa’Apai Club

Archives | Tonga Islands

Apa’Apai Club

Tonga Islands

Apa’apai war club

Carved wood
18th or 19th century
Height: 41 ¾ in. (106 cm)

Ex collection Laurent Granier, Britanny, France
Ex private collection, France

Tonga Apaapai Club 106 cm / Galerie Flak Sold
Before European contact, the Tongan craftsmen (tofunga) used stone adzes to shape a club. After Captain James Cook’s first visit to Tonga in 1773 and subsequent Western visitors, nails and iron implements began to replace sharks’ teeth and stone tools and surface decoration became even more extensive and elaborate. The sobriety of our club suggests that it could date back from a period prior to the arrival of the Europeans.

The most common material for Polynesian war clubs was ironwood (toa in Tongan), a dense hard wood that could deliver powerful blows to the enemy without cracking and was unlikely to break at the shaft under the stress of fighting.

We know of a very limited number of such undecorated Tongan apa’apai clubs. One of the most famous examples is the one collected by Captain James Cook during his Second Voyage (before 1773). It is today in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London in the UK (inv. number AAA2829).

As stated by the Horniman Museum, this particular type on Tongan club was known as an apa‘apai. Its smoothly tapering four-sided shape mimicked in toa (Casuarina equisetifolia, ironwood) the shape of a coconut leaf’s central stem. These long and stout, but flexible, stems were traditionally cut down by men of the chiefly class for use as palalafa – a kind of soft truncheon used to dole out corporal punishment and maintain social order among commoners. In this sense, the form is symbolically chiefly and speaks of legitimate authority.

Our example is an especially large example. The deep, fine-aged patina shows subtle variations of hues at the surface. This plain Tongan club is possibly a very early example, dating back to the 18th or early 19th century.
Explore the entire collection
Archives
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Vanuatu
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Solomon Islands
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Fan
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Mali
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Easter Island
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Mali
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Canada
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | New Ireland
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Australia
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Woodlands, USA
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Easter Island, Polynesia
Archives | Alaska, USA
Archives | Tonga Islands
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Brazil
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Hawai'i
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Australia
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gabon / Congo
Archives | Canada
Archives | Siberia
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Ghana
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Brazil
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Britain
Archives | Canada
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria / Benin
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | U.S.A.
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Fiji Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Caledonia
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Mali
Archives | Alaska
Archives | New Britain
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | USA
Archives | Mali
Archives | Alaska
Archives | West Australia
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alaska
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Austral Islands
Archives | Mali
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Solomon Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Solomon Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Tonga Islands
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | U.S.A.
Archives | Indonesia
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | New Britain
Archives | Tonga Islands
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Burkina Faso
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Burkina Faso
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Ghana
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Siberia
Archives | New Zealand
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Alaska
Archives | U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Sahara Desert
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Archives | Austral Islands
Archives | Cameroon
Archives | Côte d'Ivoire
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alsaka
Archives | U.S.A.
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | New Caledonia
Archives | Admiralty Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | U.S.A.
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | U.S.A.
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Canada
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Mali
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Kenya
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ghana
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Australia
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Solomon Islands
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Nigeria / Cameroon
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Maluku Islands
Archives | Nigeria / Cameroon
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Solomon Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | PaPapua New Guinea
Archives | New Caledonia
Archives | U.S.A.
Archives | Ghana
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Burkina Faso
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Indonesia
Archives | Solomon Islands
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nepal
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona or New Mexico
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Archives | Kapingamarangi Atoll
Archives | Western Australia
Archives | Burkina Faso
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Africa | Mali
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Solomon Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Solomon Islands
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Andaman Islands
Bow
Archives | Solomon Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Samoa Islands
Archives | Mali
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Solomon Islands
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Andaman Islands
Bow
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska / Greenland
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Eagle Dancer
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Canada
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Canada
Archives | New Mexico/Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona.
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Australia
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Archives | U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Plains
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Africa | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Canada
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Ghana
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Brazil
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
North America | Arizona
Archives | U.S.A.
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Australia
North America | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter