Culacula or Kinikini
Chief’s or priest’s paddle club
Hauteur : 112 cm – 44 in.
Ex private collection, Saint Jean de Luz, acquired between 1930 and 1950
Ex collection J.P. Meyer, Paris
Casse-Tête II : Clubs & Weapons of Oceania, Meyer, May 2022, pl. 216-217
War clubs – the most precious possessions of warriors – evidenced exceptional sophistication and refinement in their sculpture and ornamentation.
The Kinikini club was reserved exclusively for chiefs or war-priests. As indicated by Fergus Clunie, (Yalo I Viti, 1986, p. 185), « chiefs and priests had to stand to the fore, so were at particular risk during skirmishes, when arrows and sling stones flew thick, fast and erratically ». Hence the interest of a broad club like this, which could also serve as a shield.