This double sided Waihaka Parāoa - NZ Whale Bone War Club has features stylised manaia with pāua shell inlaid eyes and intricately carved kōwhaiwhai pattern at it’s centre.
It is bound with a muka coloured braided wrist tau (cord), and sits on a basalt stone base with brass fittings. It was hand-carved and polished by Alex Sands and measures approximately 34 x 12 cm.
This Waihaka is an important example of pre-European Māori weaponry. It shows how Māori artisans used stone tools to fashion effective weapons for use in close combat, a preferred method of warfare. The whole blade edge might be used to parry blows or strike an opponent during combat.
Wahaika translates to "mouth of the fish", in reference to the notch on one side which is used to catch an opponent's weapon.