Maori Decorated Hardwood Spear Thrower from New Zealand. This unusual artifact is a spear thrower (atlatl) made by the Maori in New Zealand in the 19th Century. The Maori did not use spear throwers at the time that the British colonized New Zealand.I acquire that spear thrower from Barclay Gallery in 1988. It was part of a collection of Maori artifacts and there was a note that the design is that of a spear thrower from Northern Australia. Apparently, Australian Aboriginal artifacts were brought to New Zealand and the Maori copied the designs using their own material and art. This spear thrower is made from a single small diameter trunk with multiple branches that were trimmed to be protruding stubs. One branch was left longer at one end and this is the pin that fits into the butt of the dart. Most of the body is carved with Maori art in relief. There is a pierced hole about 6 cm from the end of the handle.
A very attractive and old artifact with a rather strange story. Span = 61 cm ; Weight = 209 gm. I often list similar items in other categories. Most of my listings include collectibles from the Panama Canal Zone, artifacts, books, stamps and coins. This includes boomerangs, license plates, molas, celts, slings and Aboriginal items.
If an item does not sell, I often relist it within a month and reduce the price.