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Way of the warrior

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  • Charms of war
  • Head protection

Lethal blow

This weapon is a Māori patu – a short-handled weapon with a broad blade and a striking edge. A warrior who wielded a patu with a skilled hand and fast footwork could kill their opponent with one lightning-speed blow.

The mere pounamu is the most prestigious patu. Made from New Zealand greenstone – a particularly strong and durable stone – it is a symbol of authority as well as an effective weapon.

Striking an opponent’s attacking arm with a mere would often leave them disabled and unable to protect themselves. The execution of a high-ranking chief was preferably delivered by a blow to the temple, the weakest part of the skull.