South America

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Macana club

 

Guyana/Brazil border

18th century

wamara wood

18 inches/45.8cm

Ex: Louise S. Ufland {1911-2010}

Clubs of this type originated with Wapitxana group found in the Roraima area of southern Guyana and northern Brazil, along the Rio Branco territories. They are an Aruak people with several nuclei left along the Tacatu, Uraricoera, Amajari, Parime, and Cauame rivers. 

This distinctive form of carved hardwood block club is found nowhere else in Amazonia. Among the earliest objects to reach Europe in the 17th century from Guyana are 'four wooden clubs and five hammocks' that entered the Tradescant collection and are now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. An early description of these war- clubs in Dutch Guiana, based on observations made from the years 1772 to 1777, is given by Captain Stedman, who writes:  “I must not forget that every Indian carries a club, which they call apootoo, for their defence. These clubs are made of the heaviest wood in the forest; they are about eighteen inches long, flat at both ends, and square, but heavier at one end than the other”