A Fine New Zealand Maori Greenstone Nephrite Mere Pounamu

A Fine New Zealand Maori Greenstone Nephrite Mere Pounamu

1800 to 1900 New Zealand Maori

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A Fine New Zealand Maori Greenstone Nephrite Mere Pounamu
Early 19th Century

Size: 30.5 cm long, 9.5 cm wide – 12 ins long, 3¾ ins wide
ANOTHER NOW IN STOCK FROM AN OLD ENGLISH COLLECTION
Provenance: Ex Scottish collection

Ex London Private collection
The delicate shape of this stabbing club or ‘mere’ preserves the strength and toughness inherent in nephrite essential to its purpose as a weapon of war. When in use the club would not shatter when struck heavily while the owner was warding off a blow. The ‘Mere Pounamu’ was probably the most prized weapon of the Maori warrior, and indeed war to the Maori was a recreation, a form of sport carried out under firmly established rules using a limited range of weapons.
Preparations for war were ceremonious and these lasted for much longer than the battles themselves. Maori men spent a considerable portion of their time in grooming for battle. Their chosen weapons were only effective by reasons of considerable dexterity in their use and therefore required a high degree of physical fitness in their owners. War to the Maori was a contest of skill rather than the European approach towards domination in battle and the concept of ‘win at all costs’.
Dimensions
Height 30.50 cm (12.01 inches)
Width 9.50 cm (3.74 inches)
Medium
Nephrite
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