Spear

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Registration number
15267
Item name
Spear 
Category
Hunting
Throwing
 
Indigenous name
pith enchatan 
Maker
Unrecorded  
Associated cultural group
Wik-Mungkan 
Place
Australia > Australia > Queensland > Cape York region > Aurukun
Map
Collector
Miss Ursula H. McConnel 
Acquisition date
January 01, 1950 
Acquisition method
Donated by Miss Ursula H. McConnel 
Raw material
wood (Hibiscus tiliaceus), bone, ochre, resin, plant fibre
Dimensions
H: 2740 mm W: 45 mm L: D: Circum: 21 mm

Description

Multi-pronged composite spear with bone barbs and ochred. Bears writing: Archer R. N. Qu. Wikmukan tribe. N. N. Pita Antyan. U. H. McConnel.

Research notes

From the UQ Anthropology Museum exhibition 'written on the body' curated by Judy Watson and Diana Young, March - August 2014. Four-pronged spear made c. 1930.

This is pith enchatan the latter phonetically [‘ænčatn], the term for four-pronged fighting spear. The word pith is a generic term in Wik-Mungkan for four-pronged spears. Enchatan specifies it is one used for fighting between men. I’m sure it was used with a woomera in fighting and hunting, other than when poking in the shallows for fish hiding under roots etc. In this case the wood is probably Hibiscus tiliaceus [P. Sutton, pers. comms., 29/01/2014].

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