Wahaika hand club
18th or early 19th century
Height : 17 ½ in. (44.5 cm)
Ex collection James Hooper, #222
Ex Christie’s, Hawaiian and Maori Art from the James Hooper Collection, June 21st, 1977
Ex collection Leo & Lillian Fortess, Hawai’i
Published: Art and Artefacts of the Pacific, the James Hooper collection, Steven Phelps, page 56 # 222, Hutchinson, London 1975Published: Voyages… From the North Pacific to the South Pacific in the wake of Captain Cook, 2019
Short hand clubs like the one presented here were designed for close combat. The whole blade edge might be used to parry blows or strike an opponent during combat.
These striking weapons were also an important symbol of authority. The carved figures on the side and at the end of the club depict Maori mythological beings, notably tiki, the primordial ancestor.