Resin from the ironwood tree is collected and used in the manufacture of objects, such as for sealing the edges of the tunga or bark containers. Supplies of resin are kept at hand by heating and moulding it and attaching it to the end of a stick, as in this example. It is reheated and applied accordingly. It was collected by Baldwin Spencer who was hosted on Bathurst and Melville Islands in 1911 by the legendary buffalo shooter, Joe Cooper. The two men had met in Darwin the year before, and their collaboration resulted in over a thousand objects being collected mainly from Tiwi people on the islands, but also from mainlanders, primarily Iwadja people who worked directly on Cooper's lugger and in his camp. Spencer is known to have purposely purchased a bolt of coloured cloth in Darwin to take with him on this trip to use as a commodity of exchange. No doubt he also traded for important artefacts with sticks of tobacco.

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Physical Description

A moulded piece of ironwood resin attached to a single piece of wood.

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