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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Their Weapons

Their Weapons.

The use of the arrow (fléche)* is unknown to them. They are armed like the Malagasy people, with spears, of which they possess several kinds, some being about 20 ft. in length, and being used in defending their palisades; others of 10 ft., which are thrown by hand, and are frequently barbed, thus being more dangerous. They have also smaller ones still, which they throw to a great distance with a cord, but very awkwardly. They have also a kind of weapon made out of a very hard stone and carved into an oval shape, with a handle, the whole being 16 to 18 in. in length. This weapon we named the tomahawk (casse-téte), literally a head-breaker, because they put it to no other use. The weapons carried by the chiefs are better made; some of the chiefs bear a large staff in the shape of an oar, and well carved at each end.