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c1830 Fijian Hunter Ula Tavatava Throwing Club
  • c1830 Fijian Hunter Ula Tavatava Throwing Club
  • c1830 Fijian Hunter Ula Tavatava Throwing Club
  • c1830 Fijian Hunter Ula Tavatava Throwing Club
  • c1830 Fijian Hunter Ula Tavatava Throwing Club
  • c1830 Fijian Hunter Ula Tavatava Throwing Club

c1830 Fijian Hunter Ula Tavatava Throwing Club

Price:

£1,400.00


Product Description

A fine example of an original mid 19th Century Fijian Hunter’s Ula Tavatava Throwing Club.

Such clubs were carved from the buttress roots of ironwood saplings. This example has a head made of carved tightly packed radial ‘Tavatava’ lobed ridges and a slim handle, which is decorated with geometric designed ‘tavatava’ to improve the grip. The head carving displays a roughness from cutting the wood with a crude tool, such as a shark’s tooth.

The ridges are not a single row, but arranged as 3 lines with the middle ones being the largest. The wood has an attractive patina of age. The diameter of the handle decreases as it moves away from the head and the tip has an unusual concave edge. This Ula is smaller and lighter than those worn by warriors in their waistbands and then thrown, with great precision, at the skulls of their assailants. Its use is as a hunting club, but it retains a similar shape to the war club. It was used to hunt birds and bats. The smaller size would allow boys and men to practice their throwing skills and accuracy, in order to prepare for times of war.

They were a well-known weapon to early European sailors who reached Fiji - many had Ulas hurled at them and were brought back as souvenirs. The Fijians, of Western Polynesia, were renowned for their accuracy and speed. Successful enemy kills were marked on the club and if sufficient kills were recorded, the club developed an aura, or ‘mana’, of its own. It isn’t just the bulbous head that was deadly. The handle could also pierce a victim, with the head lending weight to the blow. Apparently, Churchill saw a Fijian bury his Ula up to the head in a pig at a distance of sixty-five feet.

Size: 7.5 x 41 cm (3 x 16 1/8 inches)
Weight: 321 g

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  • Shipping Weight: 0.9kgs
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