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The Material Culture of the Cook Islands (Aitutaki)

Long Weapons

Long Weapons.

The names given for the long weapons were:—

(1.) Tara tahi. The tara tahi was a spear about 6 feet long, made in one piece. It was used for thrusting, and was also thrown.

(2.) Hiku tuna. The hiku tuna was about two spans in length. It was pointed, kohekohe. The other end was bulged out into a long oval, but with the edges sharpened. This latter end resembled somewhat an eel's tail, hence the name of the weapon, hiku tuna, an eel's tail. The wielder of the weapon stabbed to the front and struck to the back page 350if an opponent approached from that direction. The weapon was also thrown. See Fig. 295.

Figure 295.The kiku tuna weapon.

Figure 295.
The kiku tuna weapon.

(3.) Puapua inano. The puapua inano is somewhat similar to the hiku tuna, but the barbs are in sets of four. The points are made in the solid. They are distributed round the axis, so to speak, and so resemble the male flower of the pandanus, inano, which has a number of pointed leaflets arranged in a similar manner. There are two forms of arranging the points, as in Fig. 296. In some
Figure 296. The points of the puapua inano weapon.

Figure 296.
The points of the puapua inano weapon.

cases the barbed end is made separately and then tied to a handle. The weapon may be used in hand-to-hand fighting, or it may be thrown.
(4.) Noho mou. The noho mou is a long weapon, three or four spans in length, according to the strength of the wielder. The point was four-sided, tapa ha, and the other end was somewhat paddle-shaped, with sharp edges for striking, Fig. 297. This weapon was not thrown. It was
Figure 297. Point of noho mou weapon.

Figure 297.
Point of noho mou weapon.

wielded by a skilled warrior, who, thrusting or striking in either direction, held his ground and stood fast. From the method of wielding the club, it was called noho mou, to remain fast.

(5.) Tu-a-rupe. The tu-a-rupe seems to have been a form of weapon localised in the village of Tautu, or rather page 351in its predecessor, Taravao. It is said to have been something like the puapua inano, but shorter, and with a separate head that was joined to a handle or shaft.