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Erlikilyika was a Lower Southern Arrernte man born in c1865 in the area where the Charlotte Waters Telegraph Station was built in central Australia in1872. During his life he became a well-known innovative carver who used both wood, and soft stone (kaolinite), sourced from near Charlotte Waters.
This spearthrower was included in an exhibition of Erlikilyika's carvings and wooden artefacts held at the Selbourne Hotel, Adelaide in July 1913. Erlikilyika attended the exhibition with Mr HO Kearnan, the telegraph station master at Charlotte Waters, where Erlikilyika lived and worked. The exhibition, organised by Kearnan, was reported in the press of the day, with articles in the 'Observer', 'Register' and 'The Australasian'. A large photograph featuring Erlikilyika surrounded by many of the carvings and wooden artefacts, appeared in Adelaide's 'Observer' (26 July 1913, p28).
A wooden spearthrower featuring an elliptical concave shaft. A wooden peg is attached to the distal end with resin and sinew at an acute angle to the spear's shaft. The proximal end is narrowed and a round knob with resin is attached. There is a stone flaked adze embedded in resin. The anterior surface is incised with insect forms on a longitudinal linear background, pigmented with a multicoloured design. The posterior surface is incised with dingoes, on a linear background, in a pigmented design.
On display at the National Museum of Australia.
L 580mm x W 140mm x H 40mm
Date the Commonwealth of Australia purchased the Herbert Basedow collection for the Australian Institute of Anatomy, from Basedow's widow.
Organiser of 1913 display