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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Maori Sickle Shaped Whalebone Short Hand Club"
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First Half 19th Century
Size: 28cm long, 9.5cm wide - 11 ins long, 3¾ ins wide
Ex Private European collection
Whalebone, the panbone or lower jaw of the sperm whale, was a favoured material for war clubs because of its strong texture and crisp designs could be carved on it. Whales were always valued as an abundant source of meat, teeth and panbone. Pre-contact, the Maori had no means of hunting whales and would wait for them to become stranded on beaches which was a seasonal occurrence. Magical amulets were used to bring the whales ashore in the form of ‘mauri’.