A Superb Rennell Island Throwing Club Solomon Islands 19th Century
This fine old Throwing Club is from either Rennell or Bellona Islands which are two small islands that are Polynesian Outlyer’s in the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands are predominantly a Melanesian county expect a few small islands like Rennell and Bellona which were settled by Polynesian people. Between 2000 and 1600 BC, people belonging to the Lapita Culture made their appearance. Then by Lapita people about 1000 BC. The next settlement occurred on both Rennell and Bellona around 130 BC, with another major occupation in about 1000 AD. Later settlement of Rennell occurred prior to 1400 AD by Polynesians from Uvea, now Wallis Island.
This superb Club is made from a single piece of hardwood, the final is carved with 8 well balanced pointed lobes, this is the striking section of the club. The club has very finely braided coconut fibre coir sting that is lashed to the club in an intricate pattern that would have taken great skill & time to make. The club has a beautiful old dark brown patina. There is a tiny bit damage about 2mm on the top of the weaving as seen clearly in the photos, otherwise, the club is a museum-quality example.
Throwing clubs are well known in places like Fiji, they were kept tucked into a warriors belt to be thrown at an adversary if they were running away. These clubs were thrown with great skill and accuracy, they would stun & knock down the retreating person until the warrior could finish them off often with a larger heavier club.
I once had a club like this with a stone head the same shape, the binding of the stone to the wood head was needed but this wood club with the superfine coir binding seams to be just for aesthetics which does make it look very beautiful
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Solomon Islands & Oceanic Art
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