New Caledonian Kanak Hardwood War Club

A New Caledonian Kanak Hardwood War Club with Large Mushroom Shaped Phallic Formed Head with Distinctive Expanded Flange at the Butt
Small old chips to edge of head through use
Natural polished dark brown patina
Early 19th Century
Size: 64cm long - 25ΒΌ ins long
New Caledonian clubs come in a range of extraordinary shapes from phallomorphic to bird headed and in the early 20th century these Kanak weapons influenced and inspired sculptors such as Henry Moore (Studies of Sculpture from the British Museum pg. 105) and artists such as Max Ernst and Andre Breton. Clubs such as this were owned by high ranking men and would have signified their status as someone to be treated with respect.
Warfare was widespread throughout Island Melanesia until colonial influences bought it to an end after 1840. The particular kind of tactic practised consisted of ambush and other kinds of surprise attack. Ancestors were considered particularly important in supporting and strengthening the living during warfare, and so there was a critical need to secure the dead and wounded from the enemy as the physical remains contained the power to attract ancestors to the places where they were kept. To the Kanak, relations between the living and the dead were dependent on the bodies of the deceased.

New Caledonian Kanak Hardwood War Club

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+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk
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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk