- Registration number
- Item name
- Digging stick
- Indigenous name
- Associated cultural group
- Australia > Australia > Queensland > Cape York region > Aurukun
- Acquisition date
- January 01, 1950
- Acquisition method
- Foundation Donation from Aurukun Mission
- Raw material
- wood, ochre
- H: W: L: D: Circum:
Shaft of wood, 1450mm long, blunt at one end and pointed at the other. Appears to be red ochred all over except for worn point, and with white ochre for approx. 90mm along the blunt end. Bears barely legible writing, white on the red ochre, towards the blunt end: Yam stick Au[ruku]n.
The Foundation Donation comprises the items from L. P. Winterbotham's personal collection, which were donated to the University of Queensland in 1948 and form the basis of the Anthropology Museum.
Drawing from fieldwork between 1927 and 1934, Ursula McConnel noted "Women use long hardwood fighting sticks usually made of acacia wood and painted red with white points, and are supported by "seconds" in a fight, who use short sticks, similarly painted, to hit back the opponents' spears" (1953, pg 11). It was identified as a yam stick by the missionary who donated it in the 1940s.
Reference: McConnel, U (1953) Native Arts and Industries on the Archer, Kendall and Holroyd Rivers, Cape York Peninsula, North Queensland, Records of the South Australian Museum Vol 11, No 1