A carved traditional wooden Wahaika. The Wahaika fighting club used by Maori warriors and was reserved for only the most respected tribal members. The carved figure on the edge represents either a ancestor or their gods.. Figure faced the warrior so it could see over the shoulder to protect the back. The hook in the front was used to trap the enemy fighters own club so it could be twisted away from the body leaving the enemy open to a blow.
Maori warriors were fierce fighters and in the close confines of New Zealand's dense bush, small hand clubs were the most practical to use.
They were most often carved in stone or jade and were used like a knife with a stabbing movement so needed the strong wrist tether to keep them in the hand while fighting.
I am a forty-plus years martial artist primarily interested in handheld weapons. Many cultures around the world, with varying tools available, nonetheless have often come up with similar solutions to the same problems. I see much in common with Mayan and ancient European weapons, while still clearly unique. The Maori hand axe, when made of jade or stone and held by a warrior's hand would be both fearsome and beautiful. The replica looks great on my wall. Thank you!