macana (Club)

About this object

History of use

Use of the macana has been noted for some time in the region; it is perhaps a traditional weapon from pre-European contact, but archaeologically unstable medium prevents confirmation. It is used primarily in duels, particularly those over adultery, rather than warfare. Duels usually occur during male drinking parties.

Cultural context


Physical description

Slim but heavy wooden club, tapering from deeply notched head to grip. In section, the blade is a very flat diamond with concave faces and a central ridge on both sides. The extreme edges of the blade have been sharpened further. Small ridges below the blade serve as hand guard. Rectilinear incisions on blade, in mirror image around the central ridge - same pattern on both sides. Handle is flat hexagon in section, tapering to a slightly wider pommel with carved pointed end. Dark brown overall, except for sharpened edges and incisions. Some cracks in handle. Dark colour may be a resin, oil, or some other stain. Probably chonta palm wood.