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Samoan Material Culture

Mace Clubs

page 589

Mace Clubs

The mace clubs (Pl. LII, A, 10, 11) are related in form to the rootstock clubs but in making it the craftsman carved the solid wood to resemble the pandanus fruit with the spikes or knobs resembling the pandanus keys. Hence, structurally and in appearance, it became fa'aaufala (fa'a, made like; aufala, pandanus fruit).

Churchill (5, p. 52) gives the province of distribution as Fiji and then describes four clubs all from Samoa. Kramer (18, vol. 2, p. 210) figures three mace clubs from Samoa and Edge-Partington (10, vol. 2, p. 42, no. 3) figures one in the British Museum obtained from King Malietoa. The two figured in Plate LII, A, 10, 11 are in Bishop Museum.

The mace clubs include long two-handed and short one-handed varieties. Few of them exceed 30 inches in length, but Churchill describes two, each 40.5 inches long. Some clubs are wider at the proximal end of the head and others at the distal end. The short clubs may have the same diameter throughout the head or be slightly wider in the middle.

The Bishop Museum specimens were formed by cutting transverse grooves round the rounded head and then cutting longitudinal grooves at right angles to them. Each division was then trimmed into a cone with a blunt end. Some of Churchill's clubs had saw teeth and others sharp cones.

The Bishop Museum clubs are flared at the ends of the grips, the flaring being greater in one diameter. Each club has a perforated triangular lug made in the plane of the greater diameter of the flared end.