Volume 32 1923 > Volume 32, No. 127 > Gilbert Islands weapons and armour, by G. M. Murdoch, p 174-175
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GILBERT ISLANDS WEAPONS AND ARMOUR.
WEAPONS
  • 1. TEUNUN (shark's tooth spear), from 12 to 18 feet long. Used in tribal warfare and in family and other feuds resulting in fighting. As a rule in tribal war the spearman was attended by a henchman armed with a Taumañaria or Teie, Nos. 5 and 6. The henchman generally preceded the spearman, engaging the henchman of the opponent spearman, the spearsmen then became engaged fighting side by side with their attendants, who assisted them by catching or fending off the spears by their weapons. The vulnerable parts of the body exposed were the arms, legs, armpits, between the legs, the face and throat. The names of weapons and manner of use varied considerably in the three districts of the Gilbert Islands—North, Central and South. Those given here are from the Central Gilberts. On breaking or discarding the spears, the spearsmen and their attendants used their Tembo (sword club) or Toañea (shark's tooth sword club), Nos. 3 and 4, to finish the encounter which usually ended fatally.
  • 2. TEMARAN AND TABOUA (long, smooth spears), from 12 to 18 feet long, made of coconut wood, 1¼′ to 1½′ in diameter in the centre and tapering to a fine sharp point at each end, which was used in the same manner as the shark's tooth spear, but which could be used both in front and rear.
  • 3. TEMBO OR BATIRAKU (sword club, either round or with four sharp edges), 2 feet 6 inches to 3 feet long. Used in infighting and hand to hand encounters.
  • 4. TETOANEA OR TEWINNAREI (shark's tooth sword club), 2 feet 6 inches to 3 feet long. Used in infighting and hand to hand combat.
  • 5. TETAUMANARIA (branched spear), 14 to 18 feet long. Used by the attendants of spearsmen who engaged one another, and also assisted the spearsmen by catching or fending off the spears with the branches.
  • The staff, like nearly all Gilbert Islands weapons, is made of old, well-seasoned coconut wood, and the branches of a hard wood tenea, resembling Ti-tree, the points of the branches were sharp, and with the sharp point of the spear were used as a weapon.
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Figure 11.—TERONIKIRI. Figure 12.—TEBUTU. Figure 4.—TETOANEA. Figure 7.—TEKOROMATAN. Figure 8.—TEBAKABOTA. Figure 9.—TETARA. Figure 1.—TEUNUN. Figure 6.—TEIE. Figure 5.—TETAUMANARIA. Figure 10.—TEAUABUBUTI. Figure 2.—TEMARAN AND TABOUA. Figure 3.—TEMBO OR BATIRAKU.
Illustration
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  • 6. TEIE (branched spear), 12 to 14 feet long. Made of the same woods and used in like manner as the Taumanaria.
  • 7. TEKOROMATAN (throwing stick), 3 feet to 3 feet 6 inches long. Made of coconut wood or mangrove, and pointed sharp at each end. Used for throwing.
  • 8. TEBAKABOTA (sting-ray spear), 4 to 5 feet long. Made of coconut or mangrove wood, with the serrated bones of the weapon of the sting-ray tied in a cluster on the end and used as a spear. The bones were also burnt, on occasion, to make them brittle and break in the flesh.
  • 9. TETARA (barbed spear), 7 to 9 feet long. Made of coconut wood, with the barbs cut out of the wood, sometimes made of mangrove. Used as a throwing spear, also in hand to hand encounters.
  • 10. TEAUABUBUTI (double-ended spear), up to 14 feet long. Made of hardwood, coconut or mangrove, with a sinnet line from end to end near the point, and travelling loosely in a loop of sinnet held in the left hand. It can be used both in front and rear.
  • 11. TERONIKIRI (lasso rope and stick), 2 feet long. Made of hardwood, with a strong coir sinnet line fastened to the centre. Used to lasso the arms or legs. A turn of the line is taken round the arms or legs to the wood which is then twisted as in a “Spanish windlass,” rendering the victim helpless.
  • 12. TEBUTU (cutting or scratching weapon), from 4 to 6 inches long, with from one to four shark's teeth fastened to it, and string of coir sinnet arranged as a loop to put one or more fingers through. Used by the women to cut and disfigure each other when quarrelling from jealousy or other causes.
  • 13. TEBANA (boxing gloves) made of coir twine or sinnet, woven or plaited hard, especially on the knuckles, resembling a “knuckle duster.”
ARMOUR.

TEOTANA.—Trowsers made of coir twine or sinnet, knitted or woven.

TETUTA.—Jersey made of coir twine or sinnet, knitted or woven.

TETANA.—Coat made of plaited coir twine, with a high back piece to protect the head, worn over the Tuta (Tetuta).

TEKATIBANA.—A band of woven coir twine, or dried ray skin, from 7 to 10 inches broad, worn round the body, over the abdomen, as protection from spears.

TEBARANTAUTI.—A helmet made of the inflated porcupine fish skin.

TEBARATEKORA.—A skull cap made to fit the head closely, of plaited coir twine, about ⅜′ or ½′ thick, to protect the head from blows of the Tembo or Batiraku or Toanea.