Effigies : U'U


Toa Warrior Staff

Carried by the warriors and chiefs of the Marquesas Islands, this U’U served as a weapon, but is also a work of art. Each staff was unique to its carrier, adorned with patterns and symbols as different as the tattoos upon the body of the man who bore it. The many faces upon the staff are its namesake; U’U is the word for face in the language of the Marquesas Islands. The faces are meant to represent ancestral spirits, which when carried to battle would bolster the warrior’s mana, or spiritual energy, and provide enhanced protection and strength. In this culture, where war was part of everyday life, it was not only noble, but also prestigious to be a warrior in the culture. Evidence of a family history including warriors was sought after, and the staffs became precious heirlooms as well objects for use in battle.