Fiji's Treasured Culture: Highlighting the collections of Museum Victoria

SEARCH RESULTS: OBJECT: Men prepared for dancing with clubs and fans

Club Photograph of four Fijian Warriors Photograph of three Fijian Men

Men prepared for dancing with clubs and fans

Spurred clubs like these, kiakavo, are often seen in contemporary images of dancers, probably referring to the normal weapon Fijians carried into battle as "foot-soldiers". The spurred head of kiakavo reminded early Westerners of the stock and lock of a musket, giving rise to the misleading name "gunstock club", a form long pre-dating Fijians' first sighting of muskets. Note also the presence of large war-fans, i-iri masei, made of fan-palm leaves. These were used to wave and slap to make a frightening display, and could also parry enemy arrows, which in Fiji were light and flimsy. Two men in the middle row wear warriors' boars' tusks, batini vuaka, and one wears a highly-prized large black-lipped pearl shell chestpiece, or civa.
Reg. Number: P 33.5 14, Fiji Museum
Fiji Museum photograph
Men with clubs and fans
© Museum Victoria Australia