A priest or chief's club, the culacula delivered its blow with the thin edge of its blade, cutting or snapping through bone rather than simply shattering it. The Tongans may have developed them as a shield-club when they first encountered Fijian war arrows in the mid to late 1700s. Chiefs and priests, who would stand at the front of the war party, were particularly at risk from flying missiles. Length: 119cm.
The lithograph (engraving) by V.Adams, shows a full-length portrait of a Tongan warrior wielding a similar style of war club in Togatapu, Tonga around 1830.