Free Airmail on International Orders over $250 - Free Airmail on International Orders over $250 - Airmail only, excludes food/drink orders. See Details -> Airmail only, excludes food/drink orders. See Details ->
Are you in NZ and shipping overseas? Are you in NZ and shipping overseas? Read this first>>> Read this first>>>
Free courier on NZ orders over $195 - Free courier on NZ orders over $195 - Excludes orders containing Food/Drink. See details-> Excludes orders containing Food/Drink. See details->

Shopping Cart Close

Taiaha Taiaha

Posted on by Lesley Armstrong

The Taiaha (pronounced Tie-uh-ha) is a Maori weapon used in close hand-to-hand combat.  Usually made from a hardwood, the taiaha was used to strike and to stab, but mostly to strike with the rau, the blade.

Parts of the taiaha are:

  1. Upoko: the head of the taiaha, including a carved head with paua shell eyes, and an arero, a tongue. Below the upoko are a collar of feathers.  The head is usually intricately carved, and carved on both sides.
  2. Tinana: the body of the taiaha, usually long and rounded, where the taiaha is held.
  3. Rau: the blade, usually flat, and rounded at the bottom edge.  This is the main striking section.  The Upoko is the end used to poke and jab, then the taiaha is flipped and the rau used to hit.

Taiaha are usually between 1.2m and 2m long.  Chiefs often held taiaha when they made speeches at tribal meetings, as the taiaha were viewed as a symbol of rank.

Mau rakau is the traditional Maori martial arts training, using the various Maori weapons.  Mau taiaha is the art of using the taiaha.  It can take years to learn the art of mau rakau, which involves balance, timing, coordination, and making use of visual clues.  The taiaha is also used in the wero, a traditional, formal challenge made to visitors to the marae.  The person selected to do the wero performs symbolic blows and strikes with the taiaha, then lays down a taki, a symbol of peace, which is picked up by the visitor.

The Taiaha (pronounced Tie-uh-ha) is a Maori weapon used in close hand-to-hand combat.  Usually made from a hardwood, the taiaha was used to strike and to stab, but mostly to strike with the rau, the blade.

Parts of the taiaha are:

  1. Upoko: the head of the taiaha, including a carved head with paua shell eyes, and an arero, a tongue. Below the upoko are a collar of feathers.  The head is usually intricately carved, and carved on both sides.
  2. Tinana: the body of the taiaha, usually long and rounded, where the taiaha is held.
  3. Rau: the blade, usually flat, and rounded at the bottom edge.  This is the main striking section.  The Upoko is the end used to poke and jab, then the taiaha is flipped and the rau used to hit.

Taiaha are usually between 1.2m and 2m long.  Chiefs often held taiaha when they made speeches at tribal meetings, as the taiaha were viewed as a symbol of rank.

Mau rakau is the traditional Maori martial arts training, using the various Maori weapons.  Mau taiaha is the art of using the taiaha.  It can take years to learn the art of mau rakau, which involves balance, timing, coordination, and making use of visual clues.  The taiaha is also used in the wero, a traditional, formal challenge made to visitors to the marae.  The person selected to do the wero performs symbolic blows and strikes with the taiaha, then lays down a taki, a symbol of peace, which is picked up by the visitor.

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered