Polynesian Weapons

Polynesian war clubs: Fijian and Somoan weapons

The number and variety of clubs, spears and other artifacts of combat add credence to the fact that Fiji was beset by relentless violence. A club was the most revered and cherished personal possession of the Fijian warrior. Fijians further classified clubs by surface ornamentation and design, type of wood or root used, and by the type and nature of coir sennet wrapping. 

The surface decorative designs found on the heads or shafts included regional, parochial and motifs that were created in both abstract and realistic form and sometimes included scenes from popular myths and legends. Kills were indicated by the inlaying of human teeth or ivory around the head, or by the cutting of notches on the grip. A club with many kills to its credit was thought to have achieved its own "mana," with power and life of its own. Clubs reaching this level of regard were donated to the temple and gods of war, where they figured as ritual objects in funerary rites and certain craft ceremonies