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Mere Pounamu Mere Pounamu

Posted on by Lesley Armstrong

Mere pounamu, usually just called a mere, are the most highly prized Maori weapon.  A form of patu, or club, the mere is prized for its weight, beauty and strength.

Made from pounamu (greenstone), the weapon could take years to make, as the club had to hewn from boulders, which took a long time to break down and then carve with basic implements.  Nowadays modern tools make the job easier, but it still takes time.  A mere can be fully carved, then when it comes time to polish the stone, cracks or chips may be found, and they have to start all over again.

Mere were shaped like other patu, with a sharp blade used for thrusting in close combat. The warrior would target the ribs or head, finishing off the victim with a hit to the head with the butt end of the mere.  The butt is traditionally carved with horizontal grooves.  A wrist strap hangs from the mere, just below the butt.

Mere pounamu were so highly revered that they would be either buried with the owner or handed down through the generations. The mana (prestige) of the weapon would increase as the years went by, and many were named.

Mere pounamu, usually just called a mere, are the most highly prized Maori weapon.  A form of patu, or club, the mere is prized for its weight, beauty and strength.

Made from pounamu (greenstone), the weapon could take years to make, as the club had to hewn from boulders, which took a long time to break down and then carve with basic implements.  Nowadays modern tools make the job easier, but it still takes time.  A mere can be fully carved, then when it comes time to polish the stone, cracks or chips may be found, and they have to start all over again.

Mere were shaped like other patu, with a sharp blade used for thrusting in close combat. The warrior would target the ribs or head, finishing off the victim with a hit to the head with the butt end of the mere.  The butt is traditionally carved with horizontal grooves.  A wrist strap hangs from the mere, just below the butt.

Mere pounamu were so highly revered that they would be either buried with the owner or handed down through the generations. The mana (prestige) of the weapon would increase as the years went by, and many were named.

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