Vintage and Antique Tribal Art and Artifacts from The Americas.
A fine Maori wood and shell chief's staff (taiaha)

A fine Maori wood and shell chief's staff (taiaha)

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Pre 1900: Item # 1218117

Please refer to our stock # M866387 when inquiring.
michael cichon tribal arts
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P.O. Box 5919
Bradenton, FL 34281

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The property of high status males, such staffs were used in a multitude of ways to illustrate one's rank, emphasize one's view in an oratory situation, spar with in hand to hand combat, and present during rituals and ceremonial gatherings. This example shows the classic anthropomorphic janus-like heads with inlaid haliotis shell eyes and intertwining, symmetrical patterns in contrast to the smooth, plain, spatulate shaft. Made from a tight-grained wood now with a deep, aged, medium brown patina. 54" long x 1.75" wide (max), in very fine condition with minimal losses and abrasions to design and bottom of staff. Shiny, well-handled surface. from the Island of New Zealand (Aotearoa), mid-late 19th century. Provenance: 'Tech' Wilson collection, acquired in London, 1970's; Frank Breuer, 1990's, Michael Lagerman, FL, to present.