U’U war club

oceania | Marquesas Islands

U’U war club

Marquesas Islands

U’U war club

Carved wood
19th century
Height: 58 ¼ in. (148 cm)

Provenance
Ex private collection
Ex Sotheby’s, London, December 3, 1984, lot 61
Ex Galerie Lemaire, Amsterdam
Ex Abraham Rosman & Paula Rubel, New York,
acquired from the above on July 21, 1989

UU War Club 148 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
In 1900, Paul Gauguin observed: "In the Marquesan especially there is an unparalleled sense of decoration. Give him a subject even of the most ungainly geometrical forms and he will succeed in keeping the whole harmonious and in leaving no displeasing or incongruous spaces. The basis is the human body or the face, especially the face. One is astonished to find a face where one thought there was nothing but a strange geometric figure. Always the same thing, yet never the same thing" (Wardwell 1967: 41).

This exceptional club is an ancient and very pure form of u’u club.
The upper section of this 148 cm tall club features a series of three tiki heads carved in relief. There is an incised décor of circular motifs around two of the tikis. Below the crossbar (partially restored), another carved tiki face appears, surrounded by refined and geometric motifs.
The representations of the tiki heads convey an intense sense of power and strength. The tatoo marks below the tikis add refinement and grace to the piece.
The quality of the carving and the superb dark patina attest to the age and great use of this rare, ancient club.

Carol S. Ivory notes in Adorning the World: Art of the Marquesas Islands published the the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, 2005: Warfare was an integral part of Marquesan life. Weapons included slings, spears, and war clubs made of ironwood, a heavy, dense wood the Marquesans called toa, which was also the word for "warrior." One type of club, the 'u'u, and effective weapon in hand to hand combat, also served as a symbol of prestige for chiefs and warriors.

Publication

Explore the entire collection
oceania
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Britain
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Fiji Islands
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Vanuatu
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Marshall Islands
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | New Britain
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Australia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Marquesas Islands
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Marquesas Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Torres Strait
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Austral Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | Cook Islands.
oceania | Vanuatu
oceania | Hawai'i
oceania | Hawai'i
oceania | Australia
oceania | Samoa Islands.
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Australia
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Tonga Island
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | Fiji Islands
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania
oceania | New Zealand
Archives | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Fiji
New AcQuisitions | New Caledonia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
New AcQuisitions | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Australia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
New AcQuisitions | New Ireland
New AcQuisitions | Solomon Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
New AcQuisitions | Fiji Islands
New AcQuisitions | Australia
New AcQuisitions | Marquesas Islands
New AcQuisitions | Marquesas Islands
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter