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Pounder tuki

Pounder tuki

Place: Tonga
Category: Tools

Wood, Tonga, l. 30 cm, d. 4 cm and 10.6 cm, Inv. Oz 81

Forster Register A.20: ‘2 short handled patapatus, New Zealand’

The pounder has been made out of a piece of heavy wood, and is polished. The shaft, somewhat broader lower down, ends in a large wooden knob with an elliptical cross-section. The convex base of this knob is blackish-brown and exhibits traces of use. On the shaft and the upper, smaller knob of the pounder, there are likewise dents and uneven surfaces, indications both of defects in the wood as well as of traces of fabrication and use.

Kaeppler (1978a: 226) emphasised that wooden pounders collected in Tonga on Cook’s voyages were usually considered to be Tahitian pounders or Tongan clubs. According to Kaeppler however, it is certain that they originate from Tonga, and were actually used for the preparation of faikakai, a pudding made out of breadfruit (cf. Mariner 1817b: 285). Comparable pieces may be found in, e.g., Oxford and Cambridge (Kaeppler 1978a: 226f.). Inken Köhler, Ulrike Rehr, Gundolf Krüger


Kaeppler, Adrienne L, ‘Artificial Curiosities’ Being An Exposition of Native Manufactures Collected on the Three Pacific Voyages of Captain James Cook RN [Exhibition catalogue], Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, 1978a.

Mariner, William, An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, 2 vols (a and b), London, 1817.

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