Story: Mau rākau – Māori use of weaponry

Two-handed weapons: tewhatewha (2nd of 3)

Two-handed weapons: tewhatewha

This unidentified chief, possibly from the Whanganui region, holds a tewhatewha, the two-handed weapon used for both fighting and signalling during battle. Below its distinctive axe-blade-type head is a bunch of feathers, for confusing an opponent in battle or to help the user signal to his followers.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Tesla Studios Collection (PAColl-3046)
Reference: 1/1-023308-G
Photograph by Frank J. Denton

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, 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 - Using traditional weapons', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/39758/two-handed-weapons-tewhatewha (accessed 15 November 2019)

Story by Rangi Matamua, published 5 Sep 2013