Clubs

Stone club, Puerto Rico, bird-shaped. Heavy stone clubs are found in various parts of North and Central America. PM 16-24-30/C7566
Club, French Polynesia. The unusually large size of Oceanic clubs may have something to do with the body proportions of the people who wield them. - Polynesians and Fijians are among the largest people on earth. PM 99-12-70/53452
Club, Nishga, Northwest British Columbia. Carved wood augmented with teeth. PM 14-27-10/85889

Clubs are probably the oldest and most widely used of all offensive weapons. Although most commonly carved from wood, clubs can be made with stone, bone and metal. They vary from small and surprisingly light to massive two-handed forms. Although some clubs are very simple in shape, many show design features that are stylistic rather than functional. These clubs tend to be embellished with designs that express the status and preferences of the individual owner. Only rarely do they display ornamentation with symbolic or public display functions.

With the advent of metal, many cultures stopped using clubs in warfare, some preferring maces with metal heads instead. However in Oceania, where club warfare was especially common, these exquisitely carved and decorated weapons were widely used well into recent times.

Twenty-seven items on display