- Indigenous name
- ala'folou (Malaitan and Sa`a languages); `are`are, afui (Kwaio language)
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Solomon Islands > Malaita Province > Malaita Island
- Captain Sydney Mercer-Smith
- Acquisition date
- December 08, 1951
- Acquisition method
- Donated by Mr Sydney Mercer-Smith
- Raw material
- wood, ebony
- H: 1114 mm W: 67 mm L: D: 65 mm Circum:
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.
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].