Note on Fijian clubs ornamented with Maori patterns

R. H. Walcott
1912 Memoirs of the National Museum Melbourne  
was particularly interested in a Fijian club bearing an incised design of distinctly Maori origin. Professor Dixon had previously seen elsewhere two other specimens ornamented with a similar type of design, and as, apparently, no record had been made of such an interesting instance of borrowed art, it is well that the Museum should publish a description of the specimen in its collection. I was fortunate enough, on mentioning the subject to Mr. W. H. Schmidt, of the Australian Metal Company,
more » ... Metal Company, Melbourne, to find that he had in his private collection another example of a club decorated in a similar manner, which he kindly offered to lend for description. The Museum specimen, Reg. No. 14,870 (Fig. 1) , is, apart from its ornamentation, an ordinary Fijian club of the cylindrical type. Its total length is 3 feet 7 § inches, with an approximate diameter of If inches for 23 inches of its length from the end of the handle. It then gradually increases in diameter to the termination of the head, where it attains a maximum of If inches. The end of the handle is hollowed out to a depth of a quarter of an inch, a feature not uncommon in Fijian clubs. The incised design on the handle extends from the extreme end for Ilf inches without a break, and from its termination to the end of the head, seven bands, about three-quarters of an inch wide, of the. same incised design are unequally spaced. The specimen was acquired from Mr. W. Simmonds, of Melbourne, in March, 1908, by whom I have been informed that it was collected by himself some thirty or more years before. Mr. Simmonds, who made a number of visits to Fiji, was unfortunately unable to recollect under w hat circumstances he obtained the club, or from which island of the group. The sty le of ornamentation is common in Maori carvings, and consists, as may be. seen from Fig. 2 , which is a reproduction of a rubbing, of a series of transverse parallel bands each of four lines, alternating with single lines of diamond-shaped points. The bands of parallel lines do not continue unbroken round the whole [ 54 ]
doi:10.24199/j.mmv.1912.4.08 fatcat:y36inomh5vanbpn3f5mtfussce