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National Museum of Australia

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4

Wooden club

Object information

Physical description

A wooden club that is coloured dark brown. It has crosshatching incized on the handle. There are lines forming diamonds as decoration of on the head of the club. The club has a large flat head and the pointed top of the club is broken. There is also some splitting along the length of the club.

Statement of significance

The collection consists of two narrow hardwood parrying shields of similar form, decorated with incised linear patterns, cut with the deep, straight, regular lines of metals tools. There are also two clubs, one with a pointed, cone shaped head that is decorated with a band of red sealing wax, the other club has an elongated, swollen and pointed head decorated with an incised design along the body and head.A spear thrower of typical elongate leaf shape of the southeast, has notching to the edges and handle, and a fine linear design on the under surface. All of the weapons show signs of being used for traditional activities and do not appear to have been made solely for sale to Europeans.

This collection is significant in being associated with the Goojung Station of Roderick Kilborn, the Wahgunyah postmaster credited with supplying the famous nineteenth century Aboriginal artist Tommy McRae with pencils and paper and encouraging him to make drawings in sketchbooks for sale to local and visiting Europeans.The red sealing wax used as a decorative band on one of the clubs also probably came from Roderick Kilborn. Red sealing wax was used by Aboriginal warriors to decorate clubs and shields in the same way that red ochre was used. A good source for this wax was Post Offices, where discarded wax from letters might be reused as a valuable source of colourful pigment.

Object information

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