Māori Weapons Case
The Arthur Ross Terrace will be closed this morning, Tuesday, October 21, for a private cultural observance. You many observe smoke and/or fire coming from the Terrace at that time. The FDNY has been notified in advance, and all safety precautions are in place. The Terrace will reopen at 1 pm.
Among the treasures stored in a Māori chief’s pātaka, or storage house, might be patu, or clubs. In this display, the fiddle-shaped patu and a white teardrop-shaped one are made of whalebone. Clubs were also carved from wood, stone, and even jade.
Meant to be held in one hand, these small clubs might have served as lethal weapons in a battle—or used as a symbol of power, brandished by a speaker to emphasize certain points.