Maori Knife

Contributed by The Hunterian

This Maori knife is thought to have been collected on one of Captain Cook's voyages during the 18th century. Many Maori woodcarvings were treasured objects that became precious and sacred heirlooms. This carved knife from New Zealand is decorated with shell inlays and extremely sharp shark's teeth. It is probably a ceremonial object as the elaborate carving is more decorative than practical. It might have been used to butcher meat at special feasts which were an important part of Maori culture. These feasts brought together a number of different families and other social groups.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.