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Old 7th October 2010, 07:20 PM   #1
Tim Simmons
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Thumbs up Malaita club.

I have been lucky to pick this club up at a sensible price, still pushing the boat out for me at the present time.
Not the largest version or the finest I have seen but a good enough start, 75cm long so I guess about 18cm wide at the top. Plenty big enough to do some damage. The really big ones, about a metre long would only be the property of the most elite warriors. I wonder if this form is found on islands other than Malaita?
If you have not done so already, I would urge all those interested in this sort of thing to get a copy of "Lightning Meets the West Wind, The Malaita Massacre, Roger M.Keesing/Peter Corris." When I have it I will show it with others.
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Old 7th October 2010, 11:24 PM   #2
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Hi Tim

Do you know what wood this is made of?

Also, that is an unusual grip, is it not? I have one of these, a small one but nice and old, with the usual grip.

I have seen one of these, immaculate, about the size of this one, for sale here in Aus. I can't afford it (as I have other collecting priorities) but I think the price is extremely reasonable at European prices.

Regards
Ron

PS. I know little about these, except that there are two big Solomon Islands that seem to be in a perpetual state of war and this comes from one of them. If such is the case, it would seem reasonable that the other island would also be using these clubs, if only as the acquired property of war.
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Old 8th October 2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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Ron these have the sort of handle material that is most often seen in publications. A fine cordage binding. The big one is a stand alone piece of sculpture to me.
The large picture is from "Solomon Island Art, The Conru Collection, 5continents" the example is 91.5 cm long.
The small picture is from "Arts of the South Seas, The Collections of the Musee Barbier-Mueller, Prestel" this example is 82cm long.
Not that much more than the example I hope to recieve. I might be able to do something with the wood, make it look like the pictures? I did say this was got at a sensible price like an average good kerrie.
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Old 8th October 2010, 08:42 PM   #4
fearn
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Neat club!

Best,

F
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Old 8th October 2010, 10:24 PM   #5
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Hi Tim

I like your club and would certainly purchase if it was going at a sensible price.

Mine is small and has some small damage, but I bought it because it has a great patina. The fibre cord is clearly very old.

My club is relatively small and I doubt it can have been used as an effective weapon of war. It must have had another primary function, to my mind.

The reason I asked what kind of wood it was is that this seems of significance. I have also forgotten what kind of what wood mine is, but it is of the variation of timber that is available there.

Will ask the man I purchased it from when next I see him.

But it has a very textural quality.
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Old 10th October 2010, 03:33 AM   #6
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Beautiful club indeed. I used to have an older one in less fine shape, but a true fighter. It had the ratten wrapping on the grip. Edge-Partington's Ethnographic Guide is another exceptional book that i had originally used to identify mine. I remember reading in a volume on head-hunting (sorry, a possibly offensive subject) that a young Malaitan male was not considered a warrior until he had claimed his first victem with this type club. He would keep a swath of hair from the slain and wear it in his tribal hat, if I remember correctly. fascinating, if somewhat ghoulish. Many of the Polynesian tribes were, of course, quite ferocious.
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Old 10th October 2010, 04:27 PM   #7
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I WILL ADD A FEW MORE PICTURES OF THE FORM, IN SOME WAYS ITS SHAPE REMINDS ME OF A FISH. I ALSO INCLUDE A PICTURE WITH SEVERAL FORMS OF CLUB FROM THE SOLOMONS.
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Old 10th October 2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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I am most grateful for the supportive comments. I think this club may have some age to it, at least very early 20th century? Here are some more pictures untill I have it. I do not believe one can create a patina but if it is there it can be brought forward with the right care. I am quite hopeful that this has not been a waste of money. The link is interesting, I like the dark club second bottom.

http://www.arthur-beau-palmer-artif...t.asp?PageID=70
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Old 11th October 2010, 08:43 PM   #9
Norman McCormick
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Hi,
Images of a club from the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow University.
Museum notes, "It has been included in the Robertson Catalogue as 'William Hunter from Captain Cook' on unknown evidence. The coating of black varnish indicates that it may have been part of the Old Hunterian Collection. This club may also be one of the 'Several War Clubs' mentioned in Captain John Laskey's 1813 account of the Museum."
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 14th October 2010, 05:42 PM   #10
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It is here and as I say not the finest of carving but still a splendid thing. It appears to be carved with stone blades or at least without the use of metal files. I think it would not be unreasonable to think it dates from early 20th century possibly even circa 1900? when I judge the patina with our late 19th century dining table.
In form it is like an axe. A blow to your chest would crack your sternum, a blow to the head would be like taking the top off your boilled egg. As I guessed 18cm across at the stricking end. I show it with a selection of other clubs. I have added pictures from the book mention earlier for atmospherics. The map of Malaita Island shows the three main tribal groups. The Kwara'ae, Kawaio and the Are'are. Sure there would be many sub tribes? Note the police have Lee Enfield rifles. There is a famous picture of Geronimo with a Snider.
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Last edited by Tim Simmons : 14th October 2010 at 06:33 PM. Reason: spelling!!
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Old 16th October 2010, 08:04 PM   #11
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Cool caption, peoples of the world printed 1918. The chap with the belt, I bet he is the sort of fellow to carve a club like mine. I imagine these are friendlies.
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