Seven Lobed Ula
Place of Origin: Fiji
Overall Length: 16”
This Fijian throwing club or ula has an exceptional deep patina; its significant age is very clear.
The club has a large, fluted, petal-like head, with seven nodes around a central boss. 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. This carving shows significant wear and patina.
The shaft has some cracking and small pieces of the wood missing as can be seen in the photos, but it is also obvious that they have been like this for a considerable amount of time and are almost certainly a function 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.