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Painted wooden 'female' spear. The spear has a wide double-edged blade with integral closely-spaced rearward-facing slightly-curved barbs. There is an oval widening of the shaft behind the barbs. It is in the same plane as the barbs and it has a longitudinal hole through it. It is followed by two forward-facing barbs that are also in the same plane. Every part of the spear is painted. The blade is painted with lateral bands and covered with dots.
The Vic Skermer collection comprises two painted Tiwi spears made by Black Joe in the late 1950s.
Black Joe, or Wampi-awajawmirri, was a prominent Tiwi artist at Snake Bay (Milikapiti), Melville Island in the 1950s and 1960s. These ceremonial spears were used in Tiwi mortuary ceremonies known as Pukamani. The highly stylised painted artefacts for which Tiwi people are world-famous are produced as part of these elaborate ceremonies. The Tiwi assign gender groupings to their spears, and both of the spears in this collection are 'female' spears, having barbs on both sides, unlike 'male' spears which have barbs on one side. The spears were purchased by Mr Vic Skermer (1908-1992) in late 1957 from the NT Welfare Branch.
L 3055mm x W 30mm x D 130mm