From: Marquesas Islands

Curatorial Section: Oceanian

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Object Number 29-93-37
Current Location Collections Storage
Provenience Marquesas Islands
Section Oceanian
Materials Wood

Heavy brown wood, probably casuarina (ironwood); well polished. Head of club is carved to form a conventionalized head and face on both sides, with a projecting lateral ridge (diamond shape in X-section). Top of the head is thickest part and is slightly concave. The eyes are formed of two small faces in relief, surrounded by shallow radiating lines; the nose is another face; below this is shallow geometric carving in bands separated by a shallow carved face. Both sides are very much alike. Another shallow face carved on each edge above the projections, and one at the apex of the arch on both sides. Plain shaft expanding at butt. Typical and good example of this type of club. Detailed study in Karl von den Steinen, Die Marquesaner und ihre Kunst.

The best known Marquesan weapon is a long, heavy two-handed club called ‘u’u. Clubs of this type were not only effective in battle, but also served as symbols of status for warriors and chiefs. The carved designs, which are repeated on both faces of the club head, include three projecting tiki faces, the top two of which can also be read as “eyes”. Every ‘u’u has the same general design, but no two are precisely alike.

Length 132 cm
Width 16.5 cm
Depth 8.5 cm
Credit Line Purchased from the Estate of George Byron Gordon, 1927
Other Number GBG 17 - Gordon Number

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