Club (kotiate)

CULTURE:
Maori
DATE:
19th century
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General Description

The kotiate is one of three types of short clubs made by the Maori. Although the shapes varied, each type had a broad flat blade with a sharp, rounded end, and were used as thrusting weapons in close infighting. The word kotiate means to divide or split in two. The motif of double spirals and central eye on the handle is called manaia. Though its significance is disputed, the manaia may be a mythological creature connected with the mana, or sacred power, of the ancestral figure with which it is associated. It is sometimes depicted as a bird, serpent, or a human head in profile.

Adapted from

DMA Label text.

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