Story: Mau rākau – Māori use of weaponry

Traditional weapons and muskets

Traditional weapons and muskets

For several decades after the introduction of the musket to New Zealand, Māori warriors used both muskets and their traditional weapons. This painting by Joseph Merrett, from about 1845, shows a war dance in which taiaha (fighting staffs), a tao (spear) and a greenstone mere (club) are brandished along with muskets and steel-bladed axes.

Using this item

National Library of Australia
Reference: nla.pic-an2948236-v
Watercolour by Joseph Merrett

Permission of the National Library of Australia must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Rangi Matamua, 'Mau rākau – Māori use of weaponry - Māori weaponry in the 2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/39769/traditional-weapons-and-muskets (accessed 24 August 2019)

Story by Rangi Matamua, published 5 Sep 2013