Wooden Taiaha with Bone on Stand - 240mm
Carved Taiaha with Bone Blade.
The New Zealand Maori Taiaha (pronounced Tie-uh-ha) is a pre-European hand-to-hand combat weapon. Warfare between tribes was commonplace, and several different weapons were used before the Europeans arrived with their muskets.
Despite looking like a spear, the Taiaha is more accurately described as a pointed staff. The pointed end is a carved head, with paua shell eyes and an extended, defiant tongue. Just like the traditional Taiaha, this authentic replica Taiaha is carved the same on both sides. Feathers decorate the shaft just below the head ( dogs hair was also used in the old days).
The middle section of the Taiaha, the shaft, is usually slightly oval, as in this example. The lower section is flattened, and it is this portion that was used as a striking blade. On this Taiaha, the lower section is carved on both sides with Maori koru.
A Taiaha is a two-handed weapon, usually made from native hardwoods. The pointed end would sometimes be used to poke at the opponent, then when the moment was right, the Taiaha would be reversed and the blade used to crack the opponent's skull. It was held in both hands and used both to strike and to parry blows. Maori were highly skilled with their weapons and in their tactics, with each tribe teaching their boys warfare skills from a young age.
Size 40 H x 280mm L.