spear thrower

Spearthrower, broad with incised line and zig decoration with traces of white and brown colour, resin grip. Peg has been lost from distal end.

Aboriginal Australians used spears as a long distance precision weapon with the aid of the spearthrower, which added power and distance. The design of the spearthrower, known as wommera or amera, varied across the country. The Pitjantjatnara people of the central desert made a leaf-shaped spearthrower generally left undecorated. The spearthrower is concave enough to be used for mixing ochres and the edge may be used as a fire saw to make fire. Spearthrowers from other tribal groups were flatter or narrower and were decorated with chiselled grooves in zigzag lines coloured with red, yellow or brown ochre, pipe clay and charcoal. Cracks were bound with sinew.

Collection Information

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