Taiaha Quarter Staff 31207
Maori, New Zealand
Wood, shell
19th Century
64 in/162.5 cm 

A classical Polynesian icon, the taiaha depicts a tiki-type subject with tongue sticking out, arero, a sign of threat and intimidation in Maori culture. This talismanic device decorates the end of a long "quarter staff" which functioned both as a forward moving/stabbing weapon and a defensive pole to parry enemy blows.