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Patu Patu

Posted on by Lesley Armstrong

Patu is the Maori name for a club or pounder.  It was a common weapon used in hand-to-hand combat by Maori in inter-tribal wars or conflicts.

Patu were made from wood, whalebone, stone, or greenstone.  If made from greenstone, it was usually called a mere, or mere pounamu. If made from stone, it was a patu onewa; if made from whalebone it was called a patu paraoa; if made from wood it was called a patu tawaka or patuki.  

Regardless of the material used, each would have a sharpened oval blade, and a hole in the handle (rau) with a dog skin cord through it, which was used to hang the patu from the user's wrist.  A series of channels or grooves were carved into the butt of the handle.

In battle the patu was mostly used in a thrusting motion, driven up under the ribs or into the jaw.  A blow to the head was then used to finish off the opponent, using the butt of the patu.

Patu is the Maori name for a club or pounder.  It was a common weapon used in hand-to-hand combat by Maori in inter-tribal wars or conflicts.

Patu were made from wood, whalebone, stone, or greenstone.  If made from greenstone, it was usually called a mere, or mere pounamu. If made from stone, it was a patu onewa; if made from whalebone it was called a patu paraoa; if made from wood it was called a patu tawaka or patuki.  

Regardless of the material used, each would have a sharpened oval blade, and a hole in the handle (rau) with a dog skin cord through it, which was used to hang the patu from the user's wrist.  A series of channels or grooves were carved into the butt of the handle.

In battle the patu was mostly used in a thrusting motion, driven up under the ribs or into the jaw.  A blow to the head was then used to finish off the opponent, using the butt of the patu.

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