Close-quarters staff Taiaha

Maori people

New Zealand

19th Century

A fine Polynesian icon, the taiaha depicts a tiki-type subject with tongue sticking out, a sign of threat and intimidation in Maori culture. Note the little teeth and the very unique eyes. Also note the faces when viewed from profile.

The long “quarter staff” functioned both as a forward moving weapon and a defensive pole to parry enemy blowsooden. It has three main parts: The arero (tongue), used for stabbing the opponent and parrying; the upoko (head), the base from which the tongue protrudes; and the ate (liver) or tinana (body), the long flat blade which is also used for striking and parrying (Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa).

We worked on a unique custom base with Romain Laforêt, both to present it in the right direction and to be able to appreciate the head from all angles.


Provenance: Adam Prout ; British private collection.

H : 145 cm  (57 inches)

Price : 4000 Euros enquiry