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 the god of war. 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 weapon 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 weapons 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.
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