A taiaha is a traditional weapon of the Maori of New Zealand; a close-quarters staff weapon made from either wood or whalebone, and used for short, sharp strikes or stabbing thrusts with efficient footwork on the part of the wielder.
Taiaha are usually between 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 m) in length. It has three main parts; the arero (tongue), used for stabbing the opponent and parrying; the upoko (head), the base from which the tongue protrudes; and the ate (liver) or tinana (body), the long flat blade which is also used for striking and parrying.
Mau rakau is the martial art that teaches the use of the taiaha and other Maori weapons in combat. As with other martial arts styles, students of the taiaha spend years mastering the skills of timing, balance and co-ordination necessary to wield the weapon effectively. The taiaha is widely known due to its use in the wero — the traditional Maori challenge during the powhiri, a formal welcoming ceremony. A wero is commonly given to heads of state and visiting dignitaries welcomed to New Zealand.
Kalika Alves Collection
60"H x 2"W x 2"D
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