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Old 11th December 2017, 10:42 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default Worlds Ugliest War Club

I'm not quite sure of what I have here; it was listed as an Indian rootstock club, but I've never seen one like this.The head is massive(approx. 6"x7"), and it has a total length of 27".It is made of a heavy dense wood and the club weighs approx.6 or 7 lbs.I have never seen one of these clubs with the roots made into spikes.
I would sooner think that this belonged to "the Gangs of New York," or Fred Flinstone rather than an American Indian Tribe.I guess it could be a movie prop, however, it does appear to be very old.
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Old 12th December 2017, 10:57 AM   #2
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Looks more like a large fijian ulu rootball club. see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16802
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Old 12th December 2017, 11:53 AM   #3
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I did see some similarities, however, my example looks cruder and the rootball is unlike the other examples in my view; if I could find a botanist, maybe they could identify the tree and that could give an indication of the region.
On a further reflective note, the continuing contributions of VANDOO to this site are evident and his presence and wit are sorely missed!
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Old 12th December 2017, 01:01 PM   #4
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There's never any botanists around when you need them. Used to be one behind every tree.

Vandoo would have known. We have other gurus almost as good tho. Maybe one will stumble across this thread.
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Old 12th December 2017, 03:33 PM   #5
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Hello,

this is truly an impressive club, I really like him. It is definitely no movie-requisite, because it is much too heavy and dangerous for that purpose.

I searched a little bit in the entrails of the internet and I found this: "Micmac root club"

Please search for "Micmac root club" I think the similarities are obviously.

I would say, you probably have a Micmac Native American Root Club.


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Roland
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Old 12th December 2017, 04:20 PM   #6
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After some more research,I think Kronckew might be on the right track.I wasn't able to pinpoint a Micmac example like mine.I also found a Tasmania Huon war club that was somewhat similar.
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Old 12th December 2017, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
After some more research,I think Kronckew might be on the right track.I wasn't able to pinpoint a Micmac example like mine.I also found a Tasmania Huon war club that was somewhat similar.

Well, first of all, the accepted spelling for that tribe is Mi'kmaq, not Micmac. That might help in your searches. However, the root clubs that Roland is talking about seem to have belonged more to the Penobscot tribe who existed in northeastern U.S. (Maine) and parts of eastern Canada. The examples i have seen of these clubs all seem to have tribal decorations on them though, so i wouldn't think that Drak's club is one of them.
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Old 12th December 2017, 08:43 PM   #8
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Well, it was around noon, so maybe I was thinking "Big Mac,"..................seriously when I looked up Micmac, it appeared to be an acceptable entry as was Mi'kmaq; maybe Micmac is slang.
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Old 13th December 2017, 06:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Well, it was around noon, so maybe I was thinking "Big Mac,"..................seriously when I looked up Micmac, it appeared to be an acceptable entry as was Mi'kmaq; maybe Micmac is slang.

Not slang Drak, simple outdated terminology. Yes you will find hits there, but that spelling hasn't been officially used in some time. Still, even when searching under "Micmac", when you open those links they usually identify the club as Penobscot.
I did find this example that doesn't seem to have any decorative carving like yours, but couldn't find much info on it beyond the image.
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Old 13th December 2017, 12:02 PM   #10
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I can not enlarge the picture, but the rootball does seem very similar to mine.
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Old 13th December 2017, 12:43 PM   #11
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Hi
Just an observation.
In your last picture there seems to be a hole in the centre with spiral rings around the hole, like you get when wood is being turned on a lathe.
Are these spirals growth rings of the plant or made by a cutting implement
Did native Americans use lathes?
Regards
Ken

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Old 13th December 2017, 01:11 PM   #12
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Does look like both ends have the centring hole and some concentric lathe-like centre marks. Wood lathes are really quite ancient, but not sure native Americans used them. (or Fijians )
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Old 13th December 2017, 01:46 PM   #13
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Great eyes guys.I noticed that too.The shaft is roughly shaped with crude knife marks, not those a lathe would leave and the shaft has flat areas not consistent with turning.One of the holes at the end is approx. 5/8" deep and I think that was made to hang the item on a wall; the other hole is very shallow and it could be consistent with mounting on a lathe.
In my opinion, it could be turned, but I don't think so.
If it is turned, by a lathe, could it be a shillelagh or a WW1 trench club?The spikes on the ball struck me more as being a European attribute, rather than aboriginal?
It still could end up being a very heavy, dangerous movie prop.

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Old 13th December 2017, 02:31 PM   #14
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Well, i see that hole as well, but there is no way you would get an object or a shaft shaped as irregularly as that if this were to have been turned on a lathe.
More likely someone had an attachment ring at the base of the club at some point. might not be an original feature, but added later by a collector. Hard to say.
As was suggested earlier, identifying the wood could go a long way to determining the place of origin. You might want to travel that route.
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Old 13th December 2017, 02:41 PM   #15
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That very small hole with the concentric rings look to me like the natural growth rings of the wood, and the tiny hole is where the central pith would have been.

I agree that the piece is likely Native American (Penobscot or similar).
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Old 13th December 2017, 03:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Well, it was around noon, so maybe I was thinking "Big Mac,"..................seriously when I looked up Micmac, it appeared to be an acceptable entry as was Mi'kmaq; maybe Micmac is slang.


Here are my results: https://www.google.de/search?q=Micm...iw=1670&bih=902

As a former lathe machinist I can clearly say, this club was not made with a lathe.

The denotation "Micmac" is from german Wikipedia (The Mi’kmaq, also Míkmaq, Micmac or Mic-Mac (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mi%E2%80%99kmaq)).


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Old 13th December 2017, 04:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland_M
Here are my results: https://www.google.de/search?q=Micm...iw=1670&bih=902

As a former lathe machinist I can clearly say, this club was not made with a lathe.

The denotation "Micmac" is from german Wikipedia (The Mi’kmaq, also Míkmaq, Micmac or Mic-Mac (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mi%E2%80%99kmaq)).


Roland

Roland, there is no argument that the name "Micmac" was indeed used at one time and will indeed generate hits on google. My point is that it is no longer considered an appropriate spelling and is not how the people themselves spell their name. I don't know if your German Wikipedia entry talks about this, but the following is from the English language version:
Until the 1980s, "Micmac" remained the most common spelling in English. Although still used, for example in Ethnologue, this spelling has fallen out of favour in recent years. Most scholarly publications now use the spelling Mi'kmaq, as preferred by the people. The media has adopted this spelling practice, acknowledging that the Mi'kmaq consider the spelling Micmac as "colonially tainted". The Mi'kmaq prefer to use one of the three current Mi'kmaq orthographies when writing the language.
I prefer and encourage the use of the name that is preferred by the people themselves rather than one they consider to be "colonially tainted".
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Old 14th December 2017, 04:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
There's never any botanists around when you need them. Used to be one behind every tree.

Vandoo would have known. We have other gurus almost as good tho. Maybe one will stumble across this thread.


ha ha ... how true ... as it happens I am a botanist !
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Old 14th December 2017, 04:50 PM   #19
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The way the shaft swells out towards the grip end is very reminiscent of the weapons of Zulu and other Bantu tribes of S E Africa . Many years ago I bought the contents of a Boer War / Zulu war museum and amongst the hundreds of artefacts there were 2 clubs very reminiscent of this example ( though not as impressive I have to say ) .Unfortunately I dont appear to have saved any photographs of them ... unless I posted any on this site .
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Old 14th December 2017, 05:14 PM   #20
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The Zulu Iwisa came in small, medium and large. Seems the higher in rank, the smaller the knobkerry head. (top) This is one of my large ones, about 5 in. in diameter & quite heavy. As the less likely they would be in actual hand-to-hand combat. For the Impi's Induna (Colonel) he's have about a 2in. Diameter head (3rd down). Most were around three inches in diameter (middle). I've seen a few root-ball ones rather rough, but most were smoothed like mine. I've seen a few that had conical studs screwed in like yours, but metal. Most had intricately braided wire wraps in bands, frequently now missing or damaged. Not all had the terminal increase in diameter at the end opposite the knob.

For our resident botanist: those protruding root stubs carved to emulate studs are rather regularly spaced. I seem to recall a so. pacific plant used for clubs that have such an even distribution. I believe some Fijian clubs were made from it tho I don't recall pointy ones, they had kinda flat topped ones.

The Zulu primary weapon was however the Iklwa stabbing spear, the African equivalent of the Roman gladius. Mine has the end swell, and the banding (bottom). They also used isizenze (axes, including the stabbing axe, but Shaka banned them during his reign, and they are secondary weapons compared to the Iklwa).
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Old 14th December 2017, 05:25 PM   #21
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Very impressive gentlemen! In the event that I can not definitively identify the club, this spring I will plant the root-ball,water it, and when I get foliage in the summer, I will forward pictures to our resident botanist.
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Old 14th December 2017, 05:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Very impressive gentlemen! In the event that I can not definitively identify the club, this spring I will plant the root-ball,water it, and when I get foliage in the summer, I will forward pictures to our resident botanist.


I seem to recall St. Peter did something similar as he was fleeing rome, had an epiphany and pocked his staff into the ground, turned around and returned to the centre of Rome where he was executed in the Circus. The staff took root and grew into a tree. Maybe that was a different Saint tho. I'm not knowledgeable about saints (did root for the New Orleans version when i was stationed there tho).
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