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Club I cannot identify

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  • davidnelson503@ymail.com
    Dear group, I picked up an interesting club in a London antique shop last week which I cannot identify. It appears like a Fijian ula except for the carving on
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 4, 2012
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      Dear group,


      I picked up an interesting club in a London antique shop last week which I cannot identify. It appears like a Fijian ula except for the carving on the head and at 17" it is an inch longer than my four others which range in length from 14"-16". It could be a Massai 0rinka but the head is carved and not completely round like my others. In addition, it could be a South African knobkerrie or Zulu Iwisa but those also have longer shafts and no carving on the head. Perhaps it is Fijian but made by a Tongan or some other person imported to Fiji to carve canoes in past centuries. The wood reminds me of that found on Ulas but what is strange is the dotted carving on the head. The patina is beautiful and reminds me also of some objects I have from the Congo. So, on that note, I am lost as to its origin but it is indeed beautiful.


      In any case, what are your thoughts about its origin? Two photos are attached.


      Sincerely Yours,


      David M. Nelson

      MODERATOR NOTE:
      Photos of the club can be found in the following folder:

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/779262728/pic/list
    • Ed Jones
      The subject photos are not very good and make discernment rather difficult.   Judging from the staff / knobkerrie head , it appears to possibly be a Nguni
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 5, 2012
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        The subject photos are not very good and make discernment rather difficult.   Judging from the staff / knobkerrie "head", it appears to possibly be a Nguni or Zulu tribal Dance Staff.
         
        A tidbit for a better understanding; The term "knobkerrie" is an Afrikaan word knop, meaning knot or ball and the word kierie, meaningcaneor walking stick. This Afrikaan name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places. I fast discovered that the vast majority of the vanishing indigenous "black" South African tribal peoples do not necessarily accept this word and consider it "white" terminology.   
         
        Recently, I spent four months on business in Johannesburg.  It was a quite the experience of immigrant, transitive and native cultures... Challenging, yet rewarding (as it has been with the various other places I have received the privilege of exposure on that continent).
         
        Some book references;
         
        -   Zulu tribal art.  Alex Zaloumis, AmaZulu Publishers
        -   The Art of Southeast Africa, 5Continents (Conru Collection)
        -   The Art of Southern Africa, 5Continents (Terence Plethica Collection)  
         
         Ed
         

         
        From: "davidnelson503@..." <safari360@...>
        To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 3:23 PM
        Subject: [African_Arts] Club I cannot identify

         
        Dear group,

        I picked up an interesting club in a London antique shop last week which I cannot identify. It appears like a Fijian ula except for the carving on the head and at 17" it is an inch longer than my four others which range in length from 14"-16". It could be a Massai 0rinka but the head is carved and not completely round like my others. In addition, it could be a South African knobkerrie or Zulu Iwisa but those also have longer shafts and no carving on the head. Perhaps it is Fijian but made by a Tongan or some other person imported to Fiji to carve canoes in past centuries. The wood reminds me of that found on Ulas but what is strange is the dotted carving on the head. The patina is beautiful and reminds me also of some objects I have from the Congo. So, on that note, I am lost as to its origin but it is indeed beautiful.

        In any case, what are your thoughts about its origin? Two photos are attached.

        Sincerely Yours,

        David M. Nelson

        MODERATOR NOTE:
        Photos of the club can be found in the following folder:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/779262728/pic/list


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