Fijian Gugu Club-Polynesian Weapon-Oceanic Art
Fijian Gugu Club, Fiji, Tad Dale, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Will Hughes, Palos Verdes Estates, California, late 18th century, 39 ¼” (99.7 cm) in height.Here is an old-style Fijian gugu club named after the butterfly fish. Carved from a dense hardwood, the shaft is oval and conspicuously unadorned and rough-hewn, contrasting with the delicate and precisely carved head. The Fijian art scholar Fergus Clunie suggests that gugu were used more for dance and ceremony than battle, but the weight and wear suggests something more homicidal. The age, wear, and lethality of the club can only be appreciated in hand. Published in "OCEANIC ART: PROVENANCE AND HISTORY" edited by Michael Hamson, pages 148-151, item 29.