Summary

The Warumungu and Tjingali groups made axes and picks like this one for their own use and for trading. They also made knives with flakes of quartzite, which were similarly traded. Generally the three-sided tapering blades used in picks are made of quartzite. A split wooden handle is attached, using spinifex resin and vegetable fibre. Wood of the mulga tree ('Acacia aneura') was used for the handles of both the axes and picks. The heads and blades are tied onto a piece of split mulga with string made from human hair or vegetable fibre. The join is strengthened with resin, collected by burning the leaf stalks of a species of 'Triodia', commonly known as spinifex or porcupine grass, on a piece of bark. The resin was moulded around the wood while still warm, and it set very hard when cold. The handles of the axes and picks are mostly coated with red ochre.

Physical Description

A hafted hatchet made with a stone head. It is secured with resin to a handle made from a single piece of wood bent around head and tied with vegetable fibre below the head. The handle is coated with natural pigment of red ochre.

More Information