Whalebone Wahaika Paraoa by Alex Sands
Hand carved by Alex Sands from whale bone. NZ Paua shell eyes.
(This piece cannot be exported).
Includes pounamu stand.
Ergonomically correct for use, but will be wonderful displayed as an artpiece.
33cm x 10cm x 1.8cm at the widest points
A Wahaika is a type of traditional Maori hand weapon. Wahaika are short club-like weapons usually made of wood or whalebone and are used for thrusting and striking in close-quarter, hand to hand fighting. Whalebone wahaika are called wahaika paraoa.
Wahaika translates to "mouth of the fish", in reference to the notch on one side which is used to catch an opponent's weapon. On the other side just above the handle the concave tip above a carved humanoid figure is the primary striking edge, particularly used against the opponent's temples, face, and ribs. The rest of the spherical edge is sharp like a blade.
In addition to being a fighting weapon, rangatira would hold wahaika during ceremonies and speeches, especially if they wanted people to pay attention to something important. Special wahaika would only be given to people with considerable ranking in the Maori tribal structure.