Engraved Ceremonial and Fighting Club, Trobriand Islands, PNG, 19th / early 20th Century

19th – early 20th Century
wood, white pigment
77 x 7 cm

This old club is engraved with the fine detailed motifs, abstract and scrolled, of the Trobriand Island artist. The finial on the handle is an abstracted crocodile head. Such clubs were owned by “big men” and chiefs, used both ceremonially in dance and warfare. With early German colonisation of these islands from the 1880s, the last recorded war in the Trobriand Islands was 1899.

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