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Copyright Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc
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Collection MHS (unaccessioned) General
Date pre 1845
Description Maori tomahawk, or patiti of Ngati Toa Rangitira iwi, found at Tua Marina on the site of the Wairau affray by Mr. Briggs.

The iron blade, obtained through trading with American or English whalers, has been hafted onto a handle of whale bone. The blade is similar to those traded by whalers with indigenous people. The hole in the handle appears to have been made by a square nail used as a chisel.

The relationship between whaling and the Affray involves the murder of Mr. Wynen's Maori wife, Rangihaua Kuika, and child (another child died later of injuries) by whaler, Dick Cook, at the end of 1842. He was not convicted because Dick Cook's Maori wife's evidence against her husband was not admissable. Wives were not able ot give evidence against their husbands in the past. The Wairau Affray happened partly because of retribution for this lack of justice.

Mr. Briggs, possibly working for the Marlborough Catchment Board, recovered this trade tomahawk from a small drain on the west side of the Tua Marina stream a little upstream from the Titoki tree.
Year range to 1845
Object ID 0000.800.0056
Object Name Tomahawk
People Briggs, Mr.
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Last modified on: November 16, 2015