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Fijian War Clubs

Episode:9Te Papa Collection:Pacific Cultures

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 6

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Social Sciences: Identity, Culture, and Organisation Continuity and Change

Description:Te Papa's Pacific store is home to all manner of ferocious weapons, including the deadly iUla throwing club.

Questions for students

  1. The presenter identifies the things she wouldn't leave home without, then compares them with items from Fiji 200 years ago. Is this a useful comparison? How does it help you understand the differences between life in New Zealand now and life in that time in Fiji?
  2. During this Tale, the presenter talks about the prestige of the weapons. What were the main elements of a prestigious weapon? How were the warriors honoured when they made a kill? How does this compare with the way we honour soldiers or modern-day warriors today?
  3. Why do you think the iUla is referred to as the 'pistol' of war clubs? What characteristics make it pistol-like?
  4. Why were different decorations put on the weapons? Other than being instruments of war, what other uses do you think the clubs may have been put to? What does the presenter mean when she says they 'carry stories of life'?
  5. What do you know about past and present warrior traditions in other nations? Use the 'Connections and conclusions' response template to record information about warrior traditions.

Related templates:

Connections and conclusions