Summary

This spear is made with a stone head that originated a quarry called Ngilipidji located around the Walker River in the southeast region of Arnhem Land. These distinctive stone heads are known as ngambi and are highly prized. Large bundles of these blades, each individually wrapped in paperbark, were traded across Arnhem Land. The paperbark sheath is keeps the very sharp edges from being damaged in transit. It would not be unwrapped until it is attached to the shaft, and perhaps not until the spear is actually ready to be used.

Physical Description

Composite spear with stone head wrapped in paperbark overwound with vegetable fibre string. Shaft is painted with natural pigments, and the design includes a band of crosshatching. The shaft is cut short.

Local Name

ngambi

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