19TH C. FIJIAN TOTOKIA BATTLE-HAMMER WAR CLUB, EX. HEMMETER GALLERY
Period/Date: Early to Mid 19th Century
Materials: drausa, Hardwood
Description: This classic "totokia" was exhibited at the Hemmeter Gallery at the Westin Hotel in Kauai. Its a heavy weight example having fine symmetry with rich color. The shaft and handle are of medium size with the hand grip having some faint worn down bands of "tavatava" carving. It is in good condition with some obvious wear and minor losses. It appears that the striking tip was broken and an expert repair was executed using the "same" kind of wood. Often times there is damage to the tip which was designed to smash into a human cranium. There are some minor cracks and old chips.
According to Fijian Weapons and Warfare by Clunie, "It was designed to drive or peck a neat hole through the enemy's skull, the weight of the bulky head being concentrated in the point of the beak. These clubs were much carried by chiefs in both life and death and according to tradition were particularly favored for murder and in skirmish warfare in think bush, the heavy head driving the beak through the skull without a long warning swing likely to alert the target or catch on undergrowth. These clubs were also used in open battle, to kill wounded enemies, to execute offenders, and sometimes to severely beat social criminals about the body."
Dimensions: Length 32" (81.5 cm), Overall Length of Beaked Head 9.5" (24 cm) Width of Lobed Pineapple Region 4.25" (11 cm)