Totokia from the collection at the Bedford Museum

The totokia (also pineapple club or beaked battle hammer) is a type of club or battlehammer from Fiji.[1][2]

The totokia was called the "pineapple club" because of the spiked ball behind the weapon's beak.[3] The name is a misnomer; the shape actually is modeled after that of the fruit of the pandanus.[2][3]

The spike ("beak") and head of the weapon were used to puncture the skull of the enemy and crush the head.[3][2] In addition to its functional use as a weapon of war, totokia were also status symbols.[4]

Several museums hold totokia in their collection, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City,[5] the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,[4] the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa,[6] the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, Massachusetts,[7] the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Cambridge,[8] the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas,[9] and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.[10]

African and oceanic art expert Bruno Claessens writes that the weapons carried by the Tusken Raiders of Tatooine in George Lucas' Star Wars were inspired by the totokia.[11]

The totokia was featured as a melee weapon in the first-person shooter video game Battlefield 1. It was classified as a club weapon, and thus had medium damage and medium range.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ George Cameron Stone, A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times: Together with Some Closely Related Subjects. Southwork Press, Portland, Maine 1934, p. 184.
  2. ^ a b c Eric Kjellgren, How to Read Oceanic Art (Metropolitan Museum of Art/Yale University Press, 2014), p. 153.
  3. ^ a b c Ron Ewins, "The Perils of Ethnographic Provenance: The Documentation of the Johnson Fiji Collection in the South Australian Museum" in Hunting the Collectors: Pacific Collections in Australian Museums (eds. Susan Cochrane & Max Quanchi: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007), p. 62.
  4. ^ a b Club (totokia), Accession Number 2009.2748, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
  5. ^ Club (Totokia), Accession Number:1979.206.1401, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  6. ^ Object: Totokia (club), Registration number OL000130.S/1, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
  7. ^ Totokia (beaked battle-hammer club), 1823, Peabody Essex Museum.
  8. ^ Club Z 3097, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
  9. ^ "Club (Totokia) - The Menil Collection - The Menil Collection". The Menil Collection. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  10. ^ Club (totokia), Registration No.: B55.02.0552, Museums in Israel–the National Portal.
  11. ^ Bruno Claessens, George Lucas’ “Star Wars” and Oceanic art, BrunoClaessens.com (23 July 2015).