Club

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Registration number
2115
Item name
Club 
Category
Fighting
Hunting
Throwing
 
Indigenous name
ala'folou (Malaitan and Sa`a languages); `are`are, afui (Kwaio language) 
Maker
Unrecorded  
Associated cultural group
 
Place
Pacific > Solomon Islands > Malaita Province > Malaita Island
Map
Collector
Captain Sydney Mercer-Smith 
Acquisition date
December 08, 1951 
Acquisition method
Donated by Mr Sydney Mercer-Smith 
Raw material
wood, ebony
Dimensions
H: 1114 mm W: 67 mm L: D: 65 mm Circum:

Description

Carved ebony club; polished; the handle is approximately one sixth of the total length with a finial carved at the handle. The club widens and extends to a squared head; two ridges on both sides protrude near the top of the club, increasing in height toward the handle. The head is decorated on both sides with incised bands of zigzags; a pair of concentric circles incised near handle on both sides; and a band small incisions decorate finial. Registration number 2115 marked with pen and tag.

Research notes

From the UQ Anthropology Museum exhibition ‘Solomon Islands: Re-enchantment and the Colonial Shadow’, a scholarly project curated by Diana Young in collaboration with research consultants Graham Baines, Annie Ross, Clive Moore and David Akin, August 2016 – June 2017.

A club still common in Malaita; the long edge used to hit people while the protruding section could have been used to parry spears by hooking them away. In Malaita they are called Ala'folou (Ala = spear, folou = side) [D Akins 2013, pers. Comm., 5 September].

The shape of this subi club, with points protruding from either side, suggests it was used in headhunting [E. and B. Baines, per. comms. 09/10/2012].

Part of a large group of objects donated to the University’s Anthropology Museum by Mr Sydney Mercer-Smith. The objects were collected by his father Captain Sydney Mercer-Smith in the years 1893-1900 while he was employed as a Queensland government agent in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu [Mercer-Smith source file].

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