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Old 10th August 2014, 06:14 PM   #1
Shakethetrees
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Default Te unun Kiribati shark tooth weapon

Greetings!

A new find! (Not new to me, but unearthed from packing and moving!)

Something I picked up a while back. A previous owner tagged it with a Stone's reference, but for some reason it didn't attract ant real interest at an estate auction. It's about 29" long and made of palmwood with sennit or coconut fiber lashings. Finely done, but one or two teeth are a little loose, one might be, not making a pun here, hanging on by a thread.

Years ago, (I hunk it was about 1974 or so.), I was in the Peabody museum in Boston, long before it moved to Salem. On display was a mannequin dressed in fiber armor with a grouping of shark tooth weapons organized in cases nearby. I wish I had pictures!

At the time I was not interested in collecting ethnographic material, but it made me aware of it to the point that when this piece came up, I jumped on it.

I wish that I had taken the time to really explore the place better, and just not kill a little time!

Anyway, any comments are welcome!
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Old 10th August 2014, 08:12 PM   #2
drac2k
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A very nice old piece!
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Old 11th August 2014, 05:23 PM   #3
Tim Simmons
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I have never had an older example of this type of weapon. Still looking to find one at an affordable price.
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Old 11th August 2014, 06:17 PM   #4
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Is the phallic pommel common on these? I do not recall seeing one before...
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Old 11th August 2014, 08:20 PM   #5
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The pommel was a surprise to me as well. None of those I saw in museums or in a book had that feature.
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Old 12th August 2014, 07:41 PM   #6
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I HAVE SEEN SOME SHARKTOOTH SWORDS AND DAGGERS WITH A KNOB AT THE END OF THE HANDLE BUT NONE SO PHALLIC AS YOUR EXAMPLE. MANY DO NOT HAVE ANY SORT OF KNOB AND SOME ARE GUARDS FROM THE LONGER POLEARM SHARKTOOTH WEAPONS THAT ARE NO LONGER ATTACHED. A NICE OLD EXAMPLE OF A SHARKTOOTH SWORD IN GOOD SHAPE FOR ITS AGE.
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Old 25th August 2014, 03:24 AM   #7
josh stout
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I am not too familiar with shark tooth weapons, but I find it very interesting that different kinds of teeth are used on each side. One side has straight, relatively round teeth from the front of a shark jaw. The other side has teeth that come from further back in the jaw. These have been arranged with the teeth all pointing toward the tip. The exception is the two loose teeth next to the frayed wrap. Why is this spot different? Are the teeth a period repair? Is there some reason for the wrap?
I am also curious to see what is used for the tip. Is it a bone?
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Old 25th August 2014, 04:48 AM   #8
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You've got a good eye!

I never noticed the difference between the upper and lower sets.

I think they're all original, as the wrapping all appears to be old and of the same time. One of the loose teeth has come loose since I've owned it. It was hanging by one strand, and with the minimal jostling and handling, it still broke. I don't think the tip ever had a tooth point.
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