“Rootstock” War Club

oceania | Fiji Islands

“Rootstock” War Club

Fiji Islands

An important Vunikau / Dromu war club

19th century
Carved wood (ironwood) and sennit
Height: 41 ¼ in. – 105 cm

Ex collection Jean-Claude Bellier, Paris
Ex Binoche & Giquello, Paris, 19 May 2016, lot 5
Ex private collection, France, acquired at the above sale

Vanikau War club 105 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
It was in 1643 that the Dutch navigator Abel Janszoon Tasman discovered the Fiji archipelago in the South Pacific. Traditional Fiji society was organized around clans and divided into hierarchal classes, with chiefs and priests found at the summit. War occupied a preponderant place within Fijian society. Battles served to reinforce the authority of chiefs as well as to multiply ties between different groups of allies.
War clubs conferred prestige on their owners, and were proof of their status as warriors.

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