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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


'Water Dreaming' - made and painted by Mick Wallankarri Tjakamarra, 1975


'Water Dreaming' - made and painted by Mick Wallankarri Tjakamarra, 1975

Object information

Physical description

An asymmetrical wooden boomerang that gradually tapers at one end. The surface of the boomerang is covered in red pigment or paint at one end and the other end is decorated with red and black curved lines with double black lines in the peaks or troughs of the curves. This decoration features on both the anterior and posterior sides, although the posterior side features two additional designs. The posterior surface shows residue from an adhesive label.

Statement of significance

The Goodmans collection comprises two spears, a spearthrower and two boomerangs.

The boomerangs and spears were made by Mick Tjakamarra and Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri. Tjakamarra was an important figure in the early days of the Papunya movement, a significant art movement of the Western Desert and for which a major exhibition was held at National Museum of Australia in 2007. Both men were ceremonial leaders and these objects, painted with totemic designs, are material evidence of this. The spearthrower was painted by Albert Namatjira, a well-known Arrente artist. As the first recognised Aboriginal artist, Namatjira has an important place in Aboriginal art history. Although producing artefacts, his landscape paintings helped to make non-indigenous people more aware of Aboriginal art, although not everyone appreciated his talent or understood how his paintings reflected his connection to country. He also came to symbolise the differences between the rhetoric and realities of assimilation.

Object information

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