Fijian Two Handed Ceremonial War Club ‘Gatawaka’
Fijian Two Handed Ceremonial War Club ‘Gatawaka’
Fijian Two Handed Ceremonial War Club ‘Gatawaka’
Fijian Two Handed Ceremonial War Club ‘Gatawaka’

Fijian Two Handed Ceremonial War Club ‘Gatawaka’

1700 to 1900 Fiji

Offered by Finch & Co

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A Fine and Rare Large Fijian Two Handed Ceremonial War Club ‘Gatawaka’ carved of hardwood and inlaid with nine human teeth
Superb old silky patina
18th – early 19th Century

Size: 101cm long – 39¾ ins long
The heavy two handed war club in all its various forms is regarded as being the favourite arm of the Fijian warrior. To slay an enemy with a club brought the warrior more prestige than to kill with any other weapon. Sometimes in order to gain ‘Koroi’, killer status, a detained prisoner would be speared and then administered a killing blow by a warrior to the head with a club. The fact that the club shattered that part of the body held most sacred by Fijians; the head, accounted in some degree for the special psychological aura surrounding it and distinguishing it from every other weapon in the Fijian warrior’s armoury.
A tally of kills made with a club was often kept by a means of nicks or notches on the head or handle, by boring small holes in the shaft and, as in this example, by inlaying a tooth from each victim in the club’s head.

Medium
Wood
Finch & Co

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