Club

Description
The head of this extremely rare type of battle-hammer is carved in the form of a stylised flying fox fruit bat (Pteropus), an animal eaten by some and revered as a god by others in pre-Christian Fiji. Similar high-status weapons can be found in the form of owls and snakes, and were probably used by the gods to enter and leave a priest’s body in pre-Christian possession rites.
This club was collected by Lt. George Phillpotts who fought in the Maori wars of New Zealand and who was killed in the attack on Heki’ s Pa in 1845.
Accession Loan No.
E1607
Collection Class
Arms and armour
Common Name
club
Simple Name
club
Full Name
unspurred club
Dimensions
whole height 872 mm; whole W 120 mm
Production Year High
1845
Production Country
Fiji
Production Area Region
Melanesia
Production Continent
Oceania
Family Group

Material
wood
Function Name
ceremonial weapon
Function Detail
L.A.D. Montague in his 1921 book “Weapons and Implements of Savage Races” mentions this club in reference to clubs he himself had colelcted and donated to RAMM. “Representations of faces, etc., are almost unknown on Fijian clubs, but one at Exeter ends in the head of some flat-faced animal, roughly but effectively carved.”
Collection Area Region
POLYN
Collection Continent
Pacific

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