A Very Rare Fijian Pole Club 'Bowai' with a mass of raised stud projections to the head

A Very Rare Fijian Pole Club 'Bowai' with a mass of raised stud projections to the head

1700 to 1900 Fijian

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A Very Rare Fijian Pole Club ‘Bowai’ with a mass of raised stud projections to the head . The shaft entirely covered with ‘shark tooth’ carving
18 th – Early 19 Century

Size : 75 cm long – 29½ ins long
Provenance : From the collection of an English Private Museum
The Fijian warrior always chose a club that suited his stature and natural movements and he used different weapons for different types of blow . Strikers or crushers , as in this example , were used with a downward smashing motion .
In the use of all weapons the manner of killing and not just the killing itself was of great importance . Even after the introduction of muskets to the Islands the traditional club was preferred since it was not just a weapon , but a work of art , a mark of rank , a symbol of manhood , and a repository of accumulated 'mana' . These qualities were not easily transferred to a foreign colonial metal musket and unlike New Zealand the number of war casualties did not increase with their introduction .
Dimensions
Height 75.00 cm (29.53 inches)
Medium
wood
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