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Club (wahaika)

CULT Heberley, Jacob 1854-1907 Wellington, New Zealand Polynesia This club has a decoration of curvilinear designs and tattooed male figure with three fingers with hands holding ankles (on edge of blade). An Animal figure (with shell inlays for eyes) grasps an object and holds it to the mouth at base of handle. Hole through plain part of handle.
Possibly carved by Jacob Heberley (1854-1907), of tribe Te Ati Awa, Wellington, New Zealand, who trained with Roturua carvers. This figure grasping the ankles is typical of his work.
Such clubs were not for battle use but functioned as a sign of authority or to attract attention during speeches.