About the object
Highly-prized Maori close-combat weapon. A strap was pulled through the opening on the handle to attach the whalebone club to the wrist. Weapons of all kinds were passed on from generation to generation, many of them had their own names and, since they were associated with the Tumatauenga God of War and bloodshed on the battlefield, they were only allowed to be touched by certain people. They were considered taboo, meaning that they had special powers that could harm ordinary people.