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Tewhatewha Tewhatewha

Posted on by Lesley Armstrong

The tewhatewha is a Maori two-handed weapon not seen as much as patu and taiaha during battle, but still considered an important weapon, particularly in the hands of chiefs.  It was often used by chiefs in battle to signal to their warriors, much like a flag.

The head of the tewhatewha is called the rapa. It looks a bit like an axe head, but was not used in that way.  Just below the head, where it changes to a shaft and has feathers added, was where the tewhatewha was used to strike.  The feathers would be flicked into the opponents eyes, the pointed end, the mata, would be used to poke the body of the opponent, and then the lower corner of the blade used to strike their head.  They would then finish off the opponent by stabbing them with the mata.

The tewhatewha is a Maori two-handed weapon not seen as much as patu and taiaha during battle, but still considered an important weapon, particularly in the hands of chiefs.  It was often used by chiefs in battle to signal to their warriors, much like a flag.

The head of the tewhatewha is called the rapa. It looks a bit like an axe head, but was not used in that way.  Just below the head, where it changes to a shaft and has feathers added, was where the tewhatewha was used to strike.  The feathers would be flicked into the opponents eyes, the pointed end, the mata, would be used to poke the body of the opponent, and then the lower corner of the blade used to strike their head.  They would then finish off the opponent by stabbing them with the mata.

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