World Cultures, Pacific

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World Cultures

Object connections:

Collection World Cultures, Pacific
User collections Collectables (All) by blueheatwave
Collectables (Australasia / Oceania) by blueheatwave
ESH6067WritingEmpire by ESH6067WritingEmpire
Captain Cook's Second Voyage by NMMCollections
Gallery locationPacific Encounters Gallery (Floor plans)
PeopleProvenance: Cook, James
Provenance: Malcolm, Neil
EventsExploration: Cook's Second Voyage, 1772

Object details:

Object ID AAA2834
Description A very fine Maori kotiate or hand club. Most examples are made from whalebone, although this particular example is in wood; hardwood such as akeake or rautangi was often used for kotiate. This is a prestigious weapon and personal object, a weapon for close combat. The kotiate has a flat oval shape with a deep notch on either side of the body. One edge appears to have been broken and repaired. A loop, usually of dog skin, through a hole in the handle secured the club to the owner's wrist or belt. This may also have had feathers attached to it, which acted both as a distraction tactic and to absorb blood. According to popular tradition, the notches on either side of the blade were used to entwine the intestines and other organs of a vanquished enemy. The straight handle 'reke' ends in a carving of a head, which gives the kotiate elevated status. The pukana - protruding tongue and wide eyes - is a traditional challenge expression, showing prowess and defiance to the enemy. Most Maori men could carve, and made their own weapons suited to their own physical and spiritual needs, making the kotiate a living extension of the body. This fine example was collected by Captain James Cook on his 2nd voyage to the Pacific.
Date made Before 1773

Place made New Zealand
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials wood
Measurements Overall: 370 mm x 160 mm
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