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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "New Zealand Maori Greywacke Short Hand Club ‘Patu Onewa’"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Old chips to the distal end of the blade
Smooth silky lustrous patina
An old paper lot number to the blade ‘Lot 508’
18th – Early 19th Century
Size: 33cm long - 13 ins long
Similar items always required for stock
The Maori were a proud and war-like people, quick to protect their reputation and ‘mana’, preferring hand held close combat weapons rather than long distance projectiles. War to the Maori was a form of recreational sport, a contest of skill, carried out under firmly established rules and warriors spent a considerable amount of time grooming for battle. Indeed the preparations for war were ceremonious to the extreme and lasted far longer than the battles themselves. Invocations to the gods, strict observance of all measures needed to propitiate evil influences, the composition of insulting ‘ngeri’ to be chanted in the face of the enemy, could occupy a whole village for weeks.
An extensive range of specific close combat clubs were made to the same pattern throughout the Islands and required a high degree of physical fitness and dexterity to be used effectively. Single handed clubs known as ‘patu’ were made from a range of materials with those of stone and nephrite preserving the simple spatulate form. They were used with a thrusting and cleaving stroke rather than as a bludgeon.