Story: Mau rākau – Māori use of weaponry

Two-handed weapons: pouwhenua (3rd of 3)

Two-handed weapons: pouwhenua

The elegantly shaped pouwhenua is a highly effective weapon in the hands of a skilled user. Its rau (blade) is larger and heavier than that of a taiaha, and the opposite end tapers to a stabbing point. This 19th-century example has a small area of fine carving beneath the rau.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: WE000906

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Rangi Matamua, 'Mau rākau – Māori use of weaponry - Using traditional weapons', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/39759/two-handed-weapons-pouwhenua (accessed 9 December 2019)

Story by Rangi Matamua, published 5 Sep 2013