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Record Image

Registration Number: E2846

Name or Title: Spear thrower

Brief Description: Spearthrower: linear lath, notched spatulate. Wooden, convex similar.
Distal: tapering, round pointed peg attached with gum.
Proximal: tapering, squared end, notched 21 cms from the end.
Decoration: red ochre over entire surface.
Distal: Horizontal bands of black and yellow, vertical bands of black and red, dots of yellow and white, herring bone pattern of red and white, vertical lines of yellow, red and white parallel incised lines in bands.

Collection: Aboriginal Studies

Production Place: Yirrkala/Northern Territory/Australia

Production Date: Pre 1940

Materials: Wood

Measurement : L1020mm x D13mm x W70mm

State/Province: Northern Territory
Northern Territory

Country: Australia

History and Use: Wamara is derived from the Dharug Aboriginal language of the Sydney region.

Woomeras (commonly called spear throwers), have a handle at one end and a peg at the other, for holding the spear. Woomeras act as an extension of the throwers arm, increasing the speed and distance the spear travels. They vary in style, depending on local traditions, wood availability and the type of spear used. In arid areas woomeras were multipurpose tools, used as a shield or dish, or fitted with a specific stone tool, called an adze, which is used in wood carving and in butchering of game. Others have distinctive carved designs.

These woomera were made at Yirrkala Mission, in the Northern Territory. These objects are part of a large collection of over 460 objects acquired via purchase from Reverend Wilbur Selwyn Chaseling in 1940. Chaseling was the first Reverend at the Yirrkala Mission, which was established in 1935. Yirrkala Mission was the last mission to be established in eastern Arnhem Land.

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