H: 182 cm (approx. 6’)
Estimated age: 19th century or earlier
Provenance: Austrian private collection
Estimate: € 5.000 – 7.000
The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, where they came more than 1,000 years ago from their mythical Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture with their own language, a rich mythology, distinctive crafts, and performing arts, which became known as “Maori.” Maori art was highly spiritual and in a pre-literate society conveyed information about spiritual matters, ancestry, and other culturally important topics.
A nicely carved, long fighting staff or club called a taiaha. The sharp tip forms the tongue of the stylized, Janus-like human heads carved at the extremity. This weapon was used in combat with a codified system of maneuvers and blows.