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Club (’akau tau)


Not on view

This expertly incised ceremonial club may have belonged to the Tu’i Tonga, the highest-ranking chief. He is featured here wearing a feathered headdress, regalia that linked him to the creator god, Tangaloa. The surface of the club teems with animals and abundant life, including sprouting plants, turtles, and an octopus—species that were sacred to the Tu’i Tonga and reserved for his consumption alone.

Club (’akau tau), Wood (toa), Tonga

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