The Wahaika (roughly translated “the mouth of the fish”) was reserved for only the highest ranking and most respected warriors. The carved figure on the edge represented a sacred ancestor or the god of war. The Wahaika was held so that the figure faced the warrior and looked over his shoulder to protect his back. A notch on the side was used for trapping an opponent’s weapon.
It was almost always made of wood and covered with intricate carved designs. Sometimes they were made of whale bone but these were not able to be elaborately carved.
This Wahaika is crafted from MDF board, rope and screen printed to add detail – it is 205mm in length, a perfect gift for children