Taiaha: This was a favourite weapon in the old fighting days, and warriors were trained until they became remarkably proficient in its use. When a man armed with a taiaha wished to take advantage of an enemy, he would advance with his weapon at the trail (to), the blade (rau) at the rear and lowered close to the earth. When near enough to strike, the rau would be quickly raised and the blow delivered.
Portrait of six unidentified Maori men, with weapons - Photograph taken by William Henry Thomas Partington
Maori warrior wielding "taiaha," a staff weapon used for short sharp strikes or stabbing thrusts