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Beaked Battle-Hammer (totokia)

The point of the totokia resembles a bird’s beak (i toki). The weight of the head is concentrated behind the kedi-toki, or point of the beak. The club’s action was like pecking (toki-a), and it was used specifically to drive a neat, round hole through the skull without crushing it. Short clubs of this type were well adapted for attacks in thick bush, where there was room for only a short swing. They were also used for killing wounded enemies and for executions.

A massive totokia like the one shown here may have been too awkward for combat. It could have been used by chiefs in certain rituals. Totokia clubs were also carried in club dances (meke wau), where they were elaborately decorated with paint and streamers. On festive occasions strings of small shells were wound in decorative spirals around the heads of these clubs, which could explain the small holes bored here and there among the tooth-like spikes.

-Lilly Stone, Class of '07