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Old 16th August 2021, 04:02 PM   #1
Silver John
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 31
Default Fijian Clubs for comment

Hello Gentlemen,

At a recent meal with my father-in-law, the topic of conversation turned to ethnographic weapons. He asked me if I might be able to find some information on a pair of clubs that his father collected whilst working as a land surveyor in Fiji between 1924 and 1926.

Both clubs look to be of similar form, and from reading Vandoo's excellent post on Fijian clubs, I believe they are Kiakavo?

His father had been told when he obtained them that one of the clubs was "older", but he is not certain which one (he thinks the wrapped club). If anyone is willing to add their thoughts I would be most grateful to hear them.

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Last edited by Silver John; 16th August 2021 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 17th August 2021, 10:12 AM   #2
Peter Andeweg
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Location: Vlissingen, Netherlands
Posts: 40

Hello John,

These are indeed 'Kiakavo' clubs from Fiji, among some collectors known as gunstock clubs. They are made from 'Casuarina equisetifolia' which is forcibly bounded to the ground to have it grown in the shape of the club.
The left one seems of the period when it was collected, the example on the right could be a little earlier, around 1900 perhaps. A way to study these is the use of tools which were used to decorate the clubs. Pre-contact clubs were carved with shells and shark tooth for example which can indicate it was early made. Later clubs were decorated with the use of nails and other iron or steel tools brought by the Europeans traders.
Kiakavo clubs are the most common in Fiji, they are used in ceremonial dancing rituals.

Best, Peter
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Old 17th August 2021, 09:38 PM   #3
Silver John
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 31

Many thanks for the info Peter, it really is appreciated.

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