Oceania, Fiji Islands, ca. 19th century CE. A fine example of the distinctive double-headed kiakavo war club with a low ridge on its "cutting face" serving as a symbolic axe blade. This style is sometimes called a "snake" type club with "waka kiakavo" ridges on the back of the head. The entire surface is highly polished, with a deliberately rougher area left under the "chin" of the snake head. These weapons had both ceremonial and functional roles, and their forms were cultivated from living trees. The ridges were beaten into the tree while it was still growing to allow the curved shape to arise "naturally" instead of having to be later carved. Lacking a true cutting edge, this distinctive weapon was mainly used in dance performances. Size: 9.5" W x 34" H (24.1 cm x 86.4 cm); 37.75" H (95.9 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Michigan, USA collection
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