MAORI MATERIAL CULTURE
In the early Moa Hunter period it seems that warfare was unknown (Duff, 1956). We can picture new settlers in a new land with food in abundance having no room for minor quarrels and tribal jealousies. But with increasing population and the addition of virile strains from the homeland, the pattern of life would gradually change, after which raids and counter raids would become a recognised procedure.
In Polynesia we find a short weapon or club and a long weapon, a spear. In New Zealand with its abundance of forest trees, new long weapons evolved and became more specialised. The same was true of short club-like weapons. The two main long weapons, the taiaha and the tewhatewha, were unique in being light and used equally by both hands. They could be used only by an adept who was an expert in speed of movement and rapid manipulation. The short club-like weapons (patu) were made of wood, bone, or stone, the most highly prized being the meremere or patu pounamu, made of greenstone and often handed down in families as an heirloom.