Spear thrower

Production date
Pre 1940
Northern Territory
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Object detail

Spear thrower - linear, lath, notched spatulate.
Wooden, convex similar.
Distal: tapering, round pointed peg attached with gum.
Proxima: tapering, squared end, notched 15.5 cms from end.
Decoration: Red ochre over the entire surface.
Distal: oblique lines (red and white) vertical lines (yellow and white)
horizontal lines (yellow and white)
Proximal: band - black, yellow and white hour glass pattern
oblique lines (red and white), horizontal lines (black, white and yellow)
vertical lines (yellow).
Production date
Pre 1940
L788mm x D11mm x W48mm
Media/Materials description
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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