Power and Prestige is the first book dedicated to the art of clubs in Oceania. ‘Clubs’ are presented not only as weapons, but as remarkable sculptures that played multiple roles in the societies of the Pacific Islands in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
They were symbols of status and authority, embodiments of divine power, exchange valuables and performance accessories. Many were never used as weapons. They were made in an extraordinary variety of forms that display the exceptional innovative skills of Oceanian sculptors. No longer used, many are now kept unnoticed in museum storerooms around the world. This book, and the exhibition which it accompanies, aims to bring clubs into the light of public appreciation by presenting them as sculptures – among the finest artworks from the Pacific region. Fully illustrated, the book will delight all those who admire sculpture and design. Comprehensive texts by leading scholars document the clubs and their histories, providing a reference book for curators, collectors and anyone interested in human creativity.