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Wooden Weapons of Hawaiian Lua

Lua, page 1, 2, 3

The other weapons in the photo below were primarily piercing weapons--koa, like many hardwoods, can be fashioned into a decent piercing weapon but cannot bear as fine an edge as metal weapons.

Display case of wooden lua weapons

This closeup of the "business end" of the spear in the previous photo shows the barbs carved into the wooden tip. Once an opponent was punctured by this spear, the wielder would rip it back out, tearing flesh with the barbs.

(Click photo to see large version)

Click to see large photo of barbed spearhead


It's said that the late Donn Draeger, probably the world's greatest martial arts scholar ever, was conducting studies in lua's wooden weaponry at the University of Hawaii just before he passed away. Perhaps in time Draeger's research will become available, and we'll learn more about how these devastating weapons were used. Until then, we can just speculate, and imagine the fierce combat in a land we now think of as paradise.

For more information on lua, see the links in the previous article, Lua, the Hawaiian Art of Bone Breaking.

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