Sali War Club
Sali war club
Carved wood (toa ironwood)
Height: 110 cm – 43 ¼ in.
Ex collection Alex Arthur, Brussels
Ex collection Edric van Vredenburgh, Brussels
Beside their functional purposes, war clubs were highly sophisticated sculptures imbued with immense spiritual power. They served on the battlefield but also as symbols of authority, ceremonial objects or images and vessels of the divine.
Sali (or Cali) clubs such as the one shown here were powerful weapons on the battlefield; they were also much used in ceremonial dances. These clubs are named after the clawed sali flower of one of the wild banana-like plants which grow on Fiji Islands.
A rare combination of form and function, elegance and menace emanate from this fascinating sculpture.