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Maori were renowned for their fierceness in battle. They were formidable opponents in hand to hand combat and armed themselves with war clubs like this beautifully carved wahaika.
This particular club has a small carved figure on the edge which represents either an ancestor of the māori warrior, or the God of war. It was positioned so that it looks behind the carrier when raised - keeping an eye on the warriors back. The ridge on the blade was used to trap an opponents weapon and disarm him.
The waihaka is a short club and was used in close combat to strike opponents. It was reserved for high ranking and very highly regarded fighters.
Size: 390mm (15.6") long