Old War Club Fiji Islands Polynesia 19th Century
This fine old Fijian War Club called Sali is of very good form. The club has incised circular designs on both sides of the club finial and the whole club with deep reddish-brown patina from generations of use.
Made from a single piece of hardwood, trees were grown specifically to be the right shape for a good club. Clubs were not only weapons but objects of veneration that held mana or great spiritual power. This example is likely early 19th Century, as it was collected in the late 19th century and at the time it was already significantly old. In pre-European contact times, there was always the threat or actuality of fighting between different nearby tribal groups and villages, alliances were made and broken and time of violence was common in Fiji. This club is in very good condition with only a small chip at the top of the club as seen in the photos, there are no restorations. When you hold it in your hands you can feel a perfect balance and weight that the artist achieved.
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Fijian & Polynesian Art.
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