Stone axes were used for many purposes, and those made for sale were usually painted with natural pigments to make to look nice. The axe head here is an edge ground stone that has been set into a wooden handle bound with vegetable fibre and then fixed into place with maypin or resin from the ironwood tree.

Physical Description

An edge ground axe head hafted to a wooden handle with resin (beeswax). The mount and handle appear to have been coated in ochre and painted with designs. TECHNIQUE: carved; painted. CONDITION: Much of the ochre decoration has faded.


The maker of this axe is thought to be Makani Wilangarr, who was a well known bark painter and master craftsman. Makani's country was the Glyde River area of central Arnhem Land, and lived from time to time at the mission at Milingimbi. In his later years Makani relocated to Maningrida where he lived until his death in 1985.

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