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Wahaika Wahaika

Posted on by Lesley Armstrong

The Maori Wahaika (pronounced wa-ha-eeka) is a pre-European club used in close combat.  The word translates to "mouth of the fish", which relates to the notch on one side of the club.  

Wahaika were made from either whalebone or wood.  They usually had a concave back, with the notch in the middle, the butt carved in the form of a head (usually with a paua shell eye), and the other side usually as a manaia or a human form carved into it. 

This form of patu was used both in battle and by rangatira during ceremonies or when making speeches on the marae.  In battle it was used in close combat, in a thrusting motion into the ribs or jaw.   The concave back was sharpened and was the most used edge of the weapon.

The Maori Wahaika (pronounced wa-ha-eeka) is a pre-European club used in close combat.  The word translates to "mouth of the fish", which relates to the notch on one side of the club.  

Wahaika were made from either whalebone or wood.  They usually had a concave back, with the notch in the middle, the butt carved in the form of a head (usually with a paua shell eye), and the other side usually as a manaia or a human form carved into it. 

This form of patu was used both in battle and by rangatira during ceremonies or when making speeches on the marae.  In battle it was used in close combat, in a thrusting motion into the ribs or jaw.   The concave back was sharpened and was the most used edge of the weapon.

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