Ball Headed Ula
Place of Origin: Fiji
Overall Length: 16 3/4”
This Fijian throwing club or ula has an exceptional patina; its significant age is very clear.
The club has a large ball or coconut shaped head, with natural crevasses in the head. This type of head often displays inset human teeth, presumably trophies from the victims of these clubs. The grip on the handle is carved with parallel zig-zag lines (tavatava), to allow the warrior to grasp the club firmly before throwing it. The base of the haft has had a large sliver of wood broken away as per the photos, which is unfortunate but has been gone a long time and is often the result of natural use.
Such clubs were carved from the buttress roots of ironwood saplings. They were worn by warriors in their waistbands and then thrown, with great precision, at the skulls of their assailants. The ulas were known for their speed and accuracy.