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Topic: Niuean war stones

In Niue, war stones or maka, were thrown by hand, rather than by the use of a sling, as in the Cook Islands and New Caledonia. The heavy stones, usually made of stalactite material which are found in caves, are polished and often lemon-shaped. Although the stones could be carried in baskets, they were also carried in girdles or belts called kafa, which were made up of hundreds of strands of braided human hair, and worn by a person of rank.

The earliest known Niuean object to enter the collection, was a war stone, presented by Rev. J. Inglis in 1869. Although it appears to be made from marble, it is highly polished and a rare example. Lady Sarah Kinsey, wife of photographer Sir Joseph Kinsey, gifted a number of war stones to the museum in 1936, following the death of her husband.

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