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Kotiate Kotiate

Posted on by Lesley Armstrong

The Kotiate (pronounced courtee-ah-teh) was a pre-European Maori weapon (club) used in close combat.

Of particular note are the carved notches on each side of the flat blade.  The notches were used in a ripping motion, possibly to rip an opponent's weapon out of their hands. Another theory comes from the meaning of the word kotiate, which translates to "cut the liver in half".  It is believed that the kotiate was used to rip the liver and intestines of the opponent, once finished off with the blade of the club.

Kotiate were made from either whale bone or wood. Many made from wood had heavily carved blades.  Most had a butt carved into the shape of a human head.  All had a hole just below the butt of the handle, through which was passed a cord that then wrapped around the warrior's hand, to ensure he did not lose it. 

Kotiate were also used by chiefs when making speeches, to embellish their words.

The Kotiate (pronounced courtee-ah-teh) was a pre-European Maori weapon (club) used in close combat.

Of particular note are the carved notches on each side of the flat blade.  The notches were used in a ripping motion, possibly to rip an opponent's weapon out of their hands. Another theory comes from the meaning of the word kotiate, which translates to "cut the liver in half".  It is believed that the kotiate was used to rip the liver and intestines of the opponent, once finished off with the blade of the club.

Kotiate were made from either whale bone or wood. Many made from wood had heavily carved blades.  Most had a butt carved into the shape of a human head.  All had a hole just below the butt of the handle, through which was passed a cord that then wrapped around the warrior's hand, to ensure he did not lose it. 

Kotiate were also used by chiefs when making speeches, to embellish their words.

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