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About this Resource
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Length 1.40 m; Thickness 19 mm
Paddle-shaped club of dark wood, rectangular in section. The head expands smoothly to a squared-off end, accidentally chipped on either side. The shaft tapers gently to an expanded, concave-sided terminal. Incised decoration covers both faces of the head, comprising two fields each with a central rhomboid element enclosing and surrounded by linked spiral motifs; notched rectangular panels occupy some of the corners. Bands of multiple chevrons enclose and separate the ends of the two fields.
On typological grounds, this club (one of a series of four) can be assigned with near certainty to the South American tropical forest area, a conclusion supported by timber analysis. So far it has proved impossible to identify its exact origins, but comparisons may be drawn with clubs assigned to the general area of Brazil and Guiana which are to be found in several European collections. While the club considered here bears some resemblance to others in collections in Copenhagen, Paris, and London, it has certain unusual features which seem to exclude a Guianese origin.
Museum Id. No:
1656 p. 46: Tamahacks, 6 sorts
1685 B nos. 128-32: Quinque instrumenta bellica ex India occidentali, ex ligno brasiliano confecta, quae vulgo Tamahacks appelantur