Lot 102
  • 102

Priest or Chief's Club, Fiji

Estimate
7,000 - 10,000 USD
Sold
37,500 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Wood

Provenance

Irish Private Collection

Catalogue Note

This club is of the type known as siriti, which, like the closely related gugu, incorporates a stylized design of a fish, from which the name of the club derives. The siriti is generally larger and has a straighter head than the gugu. Both forms contrast a finely decorated head with a shaft which is almost invariably plain; here the bottom of the club is carved with a grip in the characteristic tavatava style. Steven Hooper notes that "such clubs are considered to come from the interior of Viti Levu and to have been a special club for use in dances rather than combat. They invariably have a polished dark patina." (Hooper, Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific, Norwich, 2016, p. 256). The deep, dark patina of this old club suggests that it was long exposed to the oily smoke of a Fijian bure kalou, or spirit house.
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