Thursday, December 31, 2009
The mere is a traditional Maori weapon – a broad, flat club shaped a little like a paddle. Although made in stone, whalebone and pounamu (greenstone), the term mere should only be used to describe the pounamu weapon. Weapons were treasured by their Maori owners – both in battle and as a statement of status – and were often highly decorated. The pounamu mere was particularly prized for its strength. I photographed this contemporary souvenir mere at Ngai Tahu’s Hui-a-Tau at Colac Bay in Southland in November.