Of reddish wood with fine grain, this Maori Wahaika Patu measures 15 1/4" long and roughly 5 1/8" wide.
The top has a figural face or mask carved in reticulated form, with a hole for attachment to the wrist.
The club has a hooked section, used to grab the opponent's weapon and remove it. The central area contains a notched section where ribbons or feathers would have been attached for more dramatic and fierce presentation.
The figure on the side always faces the back, to frighten any opponents who may be approaching from the rear.
It is a short club, used for hand to hand battle, and this one is of 20th century production, but by the hand of a very fine carver, possibly one of the more renowned artists of the 20th century.
In excellent condition, a few very minor scrapes, with a nice soft patina. It appears that the club may have been cleaned or polished, removing a darker patina, which still shows in carved and recessed areas.
Please see all photos for details of carving, as it is beautiful and precise, only done by the hand of an accomplished artisan. The reticulated areas are striking and the inlaid abalone eyes are intact and bright.
This is a nice little treasure, such quality is rare in more modern Maori carving.