Summary

An immense range of weaponry was available to Fijian warriors in their conduct of warfare, which included the ceremonial practice of cannibalism. Wooden objects account for most of Fiji's material culture. Vesi and other woods were used for the many varieties of clubs, adze handles and canoe timbers. Sacred vesi wood was used for ceremonial objects, including so-called cannibal forks. The wood carvers of Fiji formed a group known as the "matai" which incoporated chiefs and specialist carvers. Clubs were made in a number of forms. This one is a throwing club, known as "i ula kitu" (head shaped like a young husked coconut). Sometimes, a tooth from the victim was used as an inlay, placed into the head. Clubs were often highly carved, often with "tavatava" (a zig-zag pattern separated with straight lines) or a chequer pattern, or sometimes patterns resembling coconut cord binding techniques. Clubs might also be used in dancing: for the latter, a light weight wood might subsitutes for the heavier timber.

Physical Description

A throwing club made from wood comprising a large bulbous head, with conical tip.

Local Name

iula kitu [named after coconut water bottle of similar shape]

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