Māori Weapons Case

Part of Hall of Pacific Peoples.


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.