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War Club ('U'u)

War Club ('U'u)

early 1800s

Stained ironwood

Overall: 148.2 x 19.8 x 11.2 cm (58 3/8 x 7 13/16 x 4 7/16 in.)

James Albert and Mary Gardiner Ford Memorial Fund 1963.255



The head of this war club is carved as an abstract face, with small additional faces appearing at the eyes, nose, and forehead. Low-relief patterns encircle the club's neck. Fashioned from dense-grained ironwood (casuarina) or toa wood, the club is quite heavy. Like stilt footrests, war clubs were carved by expert artists (tahuna) and cured in the mud of a taro patch. The glossy finish is the result of regular rubbing and polishing with scented coconut oil. Similar war clubs were seen and recorded by the crew of Captain Cook's second voyage to the South Seas in 1772-75.

See also
Oceanic Art
Type of artwork: 

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