Melanesian spear? [Solved, Vanuatu spear]

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Longimanus
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:57 pm

Melanesian spear? [Solved, Vanuatu spear]

Post by Longimanus »

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Pretty compromised, maybe what you’d call relic condition but is this a Melanesian spear? The Pitt rivers have something similar on their website, albeit with three human bones sticking out the front! Am I barking up the right tree?



Julien
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:43 pm

Re: Melanesian spear?

Post by Julien »

I think you are exactly right! This spear is indeed a pretty damaged example of a Vanuatu spear.

I have copied the article you are referring to below

http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.p ... index.html


VanuatuSpear with bone head from Vanuatu, Oceania. Part of the Pitt Rivers Museum Founding Collection. Given to the Museum in 1884.


This finely-made throwing spear is from Espíritu Santo Island in Vanuatu, an island nation in Melanesia. It measures 2.5 metres in length and has several rows of bone points, which may have been tipped with poison. Spears of this kind were found throughout the region, from the Solomon Islands in the west to Samoa in the east.

The points are secured in place with coconut cord and are in fact shards of human femur (thigh-bone). They may well be from enemy remains as part of the humiliating subordination suffered by defeated foes both before and after death.

Melanesian warfare was less violent than that of Europe and since honour and responsibility were at stake, battles rarely resulted in many casualties. This impressive and terrifying spear was used more as a visual deterrent than an actual weapon and so contributed to minimizing the loss of life.

Julien
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:43 pm

Re: Melanesian spear?

Post by Julien »

found another example in a dutch museum catalog
vanuatu spear.jpg
Ceremonial spear
Manufacturing date
before 1955
subject
Vanuatu - culture
catalog number
TM-2416-496
object type
Speer
Dataprovider
Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen
Rights
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

More examples:

https://data.collectienederland.nl/sear ... er+vanuatu

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