Hand club (Wahaika) New Zealand

Māori hand club (Wahaika)
Māori hand club (Wahaika)

Custodian: University of Glasgow Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

Reference: GLAHM E.1928.76/3

A hand club or wahaika, literally meaning 'mouth of the fish', would have been used originally for combat at close quarters. It also functions as a symbol of the holder's authority.

This example from Rotorua in the north of New Zealand's North Island has fine carving. On the blade there are curvilinear designs and a tattooed figure with three fingers and shell inlays in eyes in figure of eight shape on the edge of the blade. An abstract animal figure with shell inlays in eyes is carved at base of handle.

Maker: not known

Materials: carved wood with shell inlay

Dimensions: 490 x 75 to 125mm