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Cook Islands Spear

Spears are a form of long pole weapons that have been in use for centuries and have been prominent around the world in warfare, especially in the Cook Islands.The picture here is of a serrated club which is often mistaken for a spear. Although this weapon can be used for thrusting it was primarily a striking weapon.

There is one remaining pre-missionary serrated club at the National Museum with all other examples either in overseas museums or private collections. There were long spears that were very sharp and narrow and often barbed.In Atiu, according to local informants, the spear was divided into two categories, the Tao (a long spear at around 18 foot long) as a thrusting spear, and Vero (a shorter spear in length and span), that can be used to thrust or thrown at targets like a dart.

In Rarotonga, a Tao-Rangi was an ancient spear with two points on each end, and a tokotoko which is a staff or walking stick. There is not a lot of information in regards to the history of the Spear, but there are many types of spears used for different purposes. The use of them in warfare were eliminated after the Cook Islands peoples conversion to Christianity, however, they remained used in a cultural and traditional sense, including dances, initiations of chiefs, and more.

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