A RARE MAORI TAIAHA 18TH/19TH CENTURY Of one piece of hardwood, comprising long flat blade (ate) widening towards the tip, and carved head (upoko) with short carved tongue (arero) 60½in (153.7cm) overall
The Taiaha (pronounced Tie-uh-ha). is a close quarters combat weapon. This traditional hardwood fighting staff looks like a spear but in fact is not. It was handled with two hands in roughly the same fashion as some weapons used in martial arts. A typical taiaha has a pointed blade at one end a flattened edge at the other.The pointed end commonly is adorned with wood carving. In many cases a carved head, with paua shell eyes and an extended, defiant tongue made of greenstone jade.