Object: Hoeroa (throwing weapon)
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|Title||Hoeroa (throwing weapon)|
Unknown (carver), early 19th century, Northland
|Classification||Hoeroa, edged weapons|
|Technique||grinding, polishing, carving|
x 73mm (Length)
x 13mm (Width/Depth)
|Credit line||Oldman Collection. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1992|
The hoeroa is an enigmatic weapon made from the lower jaw of the sperm whale. Hoeroa are prestigious heirlooms, usually the preserve of high-ranking men, and representing their personal mana (chiefly authority). Hoeroa are also weapons, but the technical aspects of its use are uncertain.
According to a letter [E.E. Francis, 1903] associated with the Oldman collection this hoeroa was said to have been gifted to Queen Victoria by a Maori chief when he visited England. It was returned to New Zealand in 1948 as as part of the Oldman collection of Maori and Pacific artefacts.
Find additional information about this object at these sites
- 'Riri – traditional Maori warfare - Rakau Maori – Maori weapons and their uses', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.