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Oceanic Art (Pacific Islands)

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Ceremonial War Club (Moungalaulau)

44 7/8 x 3 3/8 x 1 5/8 in. (114 x 8.6 x 4.2 cm)

Unknown, Tongan
Tongan

Object Type: Woodwork
Medium and Support: Wood
Credit Line: Gift of Isabel C. Herdle
Accession Number: 1961.15
Location: Currently on view
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Tongan warriors were so skilled that they often served as mercenaries in the nearby islands of Fiji and Samoa. Heavy war clubs like this one were their preferred weapons. The dense, hard ironwood from which it was carved could deliver a powerful blow without cracking. Tongan artists covered the surfaces of these weapons with fine carvings of crosshatch, zigzag and herringbone patterns occasionally broken by small human figures or crescent shapes.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

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