A Fine Maori 'Taiaha' , A Chief's Staff from New Zealand . Wood and haliotis shell , old dry patina

A Fine Maori 'Taiaha' , A Chief's Staff from New Zealand . Wood and haliotis shell , old dry patina

1800 to 1900 New Zealand ( Maori )

Offered by Finch & Co

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A Fine Maori ‘Taiaha’ , A Chief’s Staff from New Zealand . Wood and haliotis shell , old dry patina
First half 19 th Century

Size : 176 cm long – 69½ ins long
Provenance : From the collection of an English Private Museum
The late classic Maori warrior carried a 'patu' and also 'taiaha' , a weapon much like a quarterstaff wielded with both hands in a variety of thrusts , parries and feints . One end is flattened to a narrow blade and the other carved as a distorted double faced head the point representing a tongue issuing forth in the typical Maori gesture of defiance . They often also served as orators' staffs .
All highly born males carried 'taiaha' as an insignia of rank and there are consequently many examples in existence today . However , this example has a fine , dry , untouched original patina , and has not been varnished or polished as have so many other examples .
Dimensions
Height 176.00 cm (69.29 inches)
Medium
Wood and Shell
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