EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE
This fearsome weapon of the Tusken Raiders has many different incarnations besides the traditional hooked-point type. Above are some of the unique gaffi sticks wielded by the nomadic Sand People.
These three raiders attacked Luke and ransacked his Landspeeder with their gaderffii.
Like the traditional style gaffi stick, the others above were made from modified Fijian warclubs. The topmost Gaderffii shown in the photo at top is a rootstock club also called a Vunikau. The bulbous end of the club is a tree root and the handle is ornately carved. A smaller diameter section of wood turned on a lathe was added to extend the length of the club. The crescent shaped, presumably metal end has not yet been identified. It's unclear if this particular prop appeared in the movie.
The middle club shown in both above photos also appears to be a Fijian club. It may be another type rootstock club which usually have large tree root ends, but not always. The pointed end of this prop looks like a steel mace, a common weapon used by medieval knights to crush the armor of their opponent.
The third Gaderffii is made from a Fijian "gunstock" style club, as it is often referred to for it's similarity to the butt of a rifle. The weapon's form is based on the sali flower of a plant in the banana family and is decorated with Fijian patterns.
"Sali" Gunstock War Club - 43" long
Photo: Howard Nowes - www.howardnowes.com
Long ago the people of Fiji were cannibals and had designed weapons for very specific purposes. The y-shaped end of this club was used to brake a victim's neck as demonstrated here:
Steve demonstrates the "neck-breaker" on Benji
Check out the further adventures of Steve & Benji here.
The end of the club used for the prop was likely cut down because with such a small niche in the end it would not fit correctly around the throat.
It is unknown what was used for the metal end of this Gaderffii, it also has a design like a mace though it may be a decorative end from a drapery pole. A strap of leather was tied where the club and metal pipe meet. In Fiji, clubs were not only for fighting, they were also displayed as symbols of status and used in dancing.